Swimming Pool Blog - Tips, Advice, Technology & Chemistry
The Swimming Pool Steve Blog is an ongoing source for information, articles, videos and pictures relating to life in the swimming pool and spa industry. If you operate a blog, podcast or content driven website and you would like to feature Steve in an article please contact Steve directly via email
Why Do Pool Owners Do This? - Learn from an industry professional why pool owners sometimes make (costly) mistakes when maintaining and trying to repair their pools.
Variable Speed Pumps Explained - Why are variable speed pumps so much better than the older single speed pumps from previous generations? This article highlights some of the main areas of improvement and details why you save so much money on electricity when you upgrade your pool pump to variable speed.
How To Get Someone To Actually Call You Back About Your Pool - This article is both truthful as well as funny. Learn why pool owners have such a hard time trying to get someone from the pool industry to return their phone call and how you can increase your chances of having someone return your voicemail.
Pool Liner Replacement - What you should consider before your next pool liner replacement. Not all estimates to replace the liner in your vinyl pool will include the same scope of work. Before you proceed with the new liner you should make sure to closely inspect each of these integral components.
How To Bond New Concrete To Old Concrete - This is a deeper look at the world of bonding new concrete to old concrete and the various methods you can employ to accomplish this. This is a very technical subject, much more so than would appear on the surface, and this article looks at PVA bonding adhesive, latex acrylic and SBR latex admixtures in particular.
Leaking Water That Changed History - In an effort to provide the best possible content on this blog this article is a true story from the other side of the world about how leaking water changed the course of history and brought down one of the largest ever ancient civilizations.
Pool Floats - What in the world is going on with inflatable pool toys and pool floats? The design and size of these (once) simple pool toys is absolutely out of control. We need to talk about pool toys - this is just madness!
Chemical Free Hot Tubs - In this article Steve tallks about chemical free hot tubs and natural hot tub treatment options available to you. While the technology is not quite there yet to run hot water systems completely without chemicals safely there are some promosinng options just starting to hit the market now.
Hiring A Pool Contractor - If you are going to have a new swimming pool installed then you would benefit from reading this 23 page E-book guide from Swimming Pool Steve. "Getting The Most Value With A New Pool Installation" is a guide for home owners to help you understand the pool installation process better and learn how to find the best builder for your pool - all while avoiding the biggest swimming pool installation nightmares.
Do Pools Really Need Chlorine? - More than ever swimming pool owners are searching for alternatives to chlorine or other chemical sanitizers. Unfortunately this pursuit carries some very serious inherent risk. This article looks at what the best options are for maintaining safe pool and spa water, including a cameo from a leading expert of water quality and maintenance.
Variable Speed Pump Schedules - Learn how to get the most value out of your new variable speed pool pump by programming a schedule that will meet the needs of your pool, and pool equipment, while minimizing your electricity costs to run the pump.
Are Fiberglass Pools Better Than Gunite Pools? - In this article you will learn the truth to the debate about whether fiberglass pools are better than concrete pools. You will also learn about why there is so much misinformation out there about this sensitive subject.
Best DIY Pool Options - If you own a swimming pool and you want to make some upgrades to it, it can be confusing about what is appropriate for you to do on your own versus what would be better left to the professionals. This article looks at some common items that you can upgrade on your own.
10 Common Lies You Hear Around The Pool - In the swimming pool industry there are certain things that are repeated as fact with both pool owners as well as pool technicians. This article looks at 10 of the most common lies you will hear around the pool and what the closest thing to the truth there is surrounding that subject.
Swimming Pool Steve Quits The Internet! - It seems that a lot of pool companies have been quitting the internet lately. In this article Steve talks about leaving the internet as well, and what would motivate a large company to boldly make claims to quit the internet as part of their brand marketing.
Friction Loss In PVC Fittings - Recently a picture was going around from a Pentair training session on hydraulics and there was a mistake in the information being presented. This article examines this common error, why it is so commonly made, and what the correct friction loss numbers are for two inch PVC street elbows, short radius elbows, and sweep elbows.
How To Replace Your Own Pool Pump - If you are thinking about replacing your own pool pump instead of calling a professional to do this for you then this article will highlight some of the concerns and important information you need to know before proceeding. Learn about why some pools are harder to install a pump on than others, as well as warranty considerations for doing it yourself versus hiring a pro.
10 Stages Of Life For Owning A Robotic Pool Cleaner - If you intend to buy a robotic pool vacuum to help you keep your pool clean then you should be aware that there are 10 specific stages that you will need to go through during the time that you own it.
8 Money Saving Swimming Pool Tips - If you want to take every opportunity to reduce the operating, service and maintenance costs for your pool then this article will show you eight real world ways that you can accomplish this. Nine if you count the (very relevant) last line of the article.
2018 In Review For Swimming Pool Steve - As per the annual tradition this year end recap includes some numbers behind this blog as well as my YouTube channel, both of which hit record high numbers this year. If you are an avid reader of the Swimming Pool Steve blog then this article also contains some important information about some things that I have been working on.
Starting A New Pool Company - This article looks at what it takes to start a new swimming pool and spa company. Over and above the technical side of working on pools here are 10 principles that you should adopt if you are going to be in business for yourself.
9 Problems That Pool Owners Ignore - Learn about 9 common problems with obvious signs that swimming pool owners tend to ignore until it is too late. If you want to avoid sudden and "unexpected" repair costs with your pool then follow these nine tips.
Which Pool Should I Buy? - In this article Steve talks about getting a new swimming pool installed and how you should decide wich kind of pool would be the best for your property.
Vermiculite Concrete Mixes - Vermiculite is a lightweight mineral that can be substituted as an aggregate in concrete mixes to achieve a lightweight, highly insulative finished concrete. One of the most common applications for vermiculite modified concrete is as a floor option in vinyl liner swimming pools.
Best Pool Pumps of 2019 - If you are in the market for a new pool pump this year then take a look at this 2019 pump review article. It includes the three most popular filtration pumps currently being sold, and then provides three alternatives that you probably have not heard of yet. Most pool owners picking up a new pump this year will probably end up with one of the ones from this list.
Pool Pump Replacement - Before you go and buy a replacement for your pool filtration pump you should read this article that talks about the correct method to sizing a pump for your pool including matching it with the pool volume, pipe size and filter maximum designed flow rate.
Pool Liner Coving - This article talks about why your liner might have a small cove where the floor of the shallow end meets the walls of the pool. Ideally the liner should follow the exact 90 degree profile of the floor and wall, with no cove at all, however in many cases it does not. So how much coving is too much?
Unsung Heroes Of The Swimming Pool Industry - Through humor learn about the dark origins of the swimming pool industry and how things have changed from previous generations of pool builders. What seemingly insignificant changes helped shape the face of modern day pool workers.
Pool Filter Sizing - This article walks you through the process of how to size a pool filter, including matching it to your pump, pipe size, pool volume, and filtration demands. By the end of this article you will have all of the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision for a new filter for your pool.
2018 Swimming Pool Industry Leadership Award - I am very pleased to announce that I have won the 2018 Pool & Spa Industry Leadership Award from Pleatco. This article talks about what exactly I have won, as well as the new changes that I intend to introduce to the pool and spa industry now that I am finally in charge!
How To Protect Your Pool From Freezing - This article looks at some of the more problematic areas of winterizing swimming pools and how pools can tend to break if not winterized correctly. Learn what steps a proactive person in a cold climate area might take to prevent their pool from potential damage.
Why Did My Pool Pump Fail Early? - This article looks at what potential factors could cause a swimming pool pump to fail earlier than it should have (or at least sooner than you were expecting). The answer to your early pump failure is likely a combination of one, or more, of these reasons.
Installing Pool Equipment You Bought Online - This article is intended to help pool owners to understand why it is so hard to find a swimming pool company to install the pool equipment that you bought online. If you operate a pool company, give this article to the customers asking you to install equipment purchased online.
Salt Water Chlorinators For Above Ground Pools - If you are considering converting your above ground pool to salt water this article will guide you through some of the information you need to know first, as well as teaching you how to size a salt chlorinator for your pool, and which brands you should be considering.
What Is The Cheapest Pool Pump? - This article attempts to provide a technical answer to the very loaded question of "what is the cheapest pool pump?". Learn what the most cost effective methods to filter your pool water are, as well as which pitfalls you need to avoid when you set out to buy a cheap pool pump.
16 Lessons That All Pool Workers Must Learn - 16 Lessons that all pool workers must learn, is a satire article about some situation specific pool problems that people who work in this industry are likely to have to deal with. Not an inclusive list, but if you are new to working on pools this article can help you to avoid some of the bumps and bruises you are likely to encounter just starting out...or at the very least allow you to commiserate with your peers.
Can You Put A Vinyl Liner In A Concrete Pool? - A very common question from people who own older concrete pools is can you install a liner in a concrete pool. This article looks at why liners sometimes get installed in concrete pools and whether or not this is a valid remediation option for aging concrete pools in need of repair.
Inground Vinyl Pool Renovations - This article looks at an inground vinyl liner pool that experienced a deck-integrated coping failure. See the chronological process for how you renovate a vinyl pool for a new concrete deck, coping and liner installation.
Swimming Pool Sinkhole Part 2 - In the continuation of this story find out how deep the rabbit (sink) hole goes once the liner was removed from this pool. The sinkhole looked enormous before the liner was taken out but you won't believe how big the hole looks now! Give us your opinion about what happened to cause this pool to fail.
Swimming Pool Steve 2018 Pleatco Perfect Pool Guy Nomination - This year please vote for Swimming Pool Steve to be chosen as the Pleatco Perfect Pool Guy. This article includes information about my nomination, my history within the pool industry, and how you can cast your vote.
Swimming Pool Flow Meters - This article talks about the difficulties (and limitations) of calculating flow rates for swimming pool filtration systems as compared to using flow meters to monitor and dial in the exact flow rates needed for filtration requirements and to meet flow rate guidelines for other pool equipment such as filters and heaters.
Above Ground Pool Floor Sinkhole - What caused this above ground pool to develop a sinkhole in the middle of the floor which ended up resulting in a sudden failure and draining of the pool? This article looks at an unusual case where a pool less than two years old fails in dramatic (and expensive) fashion. Do you agree with the cause of failure in this article or do you have a different idea as to why this happened?
10 Reasons To Get A Pool - It can be hard to justify a purchase as expensive as a swimming pool and it is only normal to look for confirmation that this is actually a good idea for you to do. This article will reaffirm your decision to buy a pool with these 10 excellent reasons you should get a pool.
10 Job Interview Questions You Wish You Could Ask - Since the swimming pool industry is so unique, I have developed this list of job interview questions that you wish you could ask. While these might not be the most PC questions, they will certainly help you to fast track the process of finding a new worker that will be able to actually do the job.
How To Store A Pool Cover - Learn the best tips for securely storing your pool cover during the swimming season. This article explains why protecting your cover from insects and rodents is so important and which containers provide the best protection from these pests.
Optional Upgrades For New Pool Installations - If optional upgrades for swimming pools still makes you think of a diving board and a slide then read this article. Learn which options to pick if you want your pool to be safe, economical, have reduced chemical use and stay clean all on their own (almost).
Pool Filter Pressure - Learn about what an "average filter pressure" is for swimming pools as well as the maximum safe pressure level for swimming pool equipment. Your filter pressure is the best indicator you have about the condition of your pool filtration system.
Brown Pool Water - Brown pool water is an uncommon problem to have with a swimming pool and can be somewhat confusing as to how to deal with it. This color normally relates to water contaminated with iron, usually from a rural water supply or deteriorating pool equipment leaching metals into the pool water.
Swimming Pool Alarms - Swimming pool alarms are required for new or newly renovated pools in many areas according to UL 2017 and ASTM F2208. This article looks at pool water alarms as well as pool door alarms to be code compliant in these areas and to increase safety for any swimming pool.
How To Convert Your Pool To Salt Water - If you are thinking about converting your pool to a salt water pool then this article will help you to learn about how to install a salt system, how to protect your pool from damage and how to maintain your pool moving forward.
Why Is My Pool Losing Water? - If you are a pool owner looking for answers about unexplained water loss in your pool, then this article will teach you how, why and where swimming pools tend to break. Swimming pool leak detection 101.
Pool Ionizer Reviews - This short article looks at pool ionizer systems and whether copper and silver ions can reduce the chemicals that you use to sanitize your pool water.
How To Know When You Need A New Pool Liner - Replacing the vinyl liner in your pool is one of the more common maintenance repairs that vinyl pools need. This article talks about how long liners tend to last and how to tell when it is time to get a new one.
Can You Get Sick From Dirty Pool Water? - This article explains some of the potential health concerns associated with dirty or poorly treated swimming pool water. If you are wondering about swimming in green swimming pool water then this will help you to understand the risks.
How To Make Caring For Your Pool Easier - A very common complaint from pool owners is that taking care of the pool is difficult and confusing. This article provides some tips for pool owners about basic maintenance that you might not be doing or simply taking for granted.
Heavy Hot Tub Covers - Learn why hot tub covers tend to get heavy over time. Find out the difference between cheap spa covers and more expensive ones, and whether you can repair a heavy spa cover or not.
Concrete Pool Problems - Common concrete pool problems discussed in this article cover structural failures of the shell, coping problems, failure of the tiles, and how to know when the interior pool surface needs replacement.
How To Close A Pool Permanently - If you absolutely must close your pool permanently or for an extended period of time, this article will explain the risks of doing so and some tips for how to close your pool with minimal long term risk for damage.
Why Does My Hot Tub Water Smell Bad? - This article talks about why hot tub owners complain about bad smelling spa water, and whether bromine is the reason for this smell or not.
DIY Pool Opening - If you would like to open your own swimming pool this year then this article will show you the most common tools that you will need to get the job done. Also covered are chemicals needed for your pool in the spring (as well as which chemicals to avoid!)
Why Do Pools Turn Green? - This article explains why pool water turns green, as well as which factors increase and decrease the rate of algae growth in your pool.
Pool Replastering - Replastering is the most common (and expensive) maintenance item that you need to do on concrete swimming pools. This article explains the steps involved with replastering a pool including information about how the coping stones and tile band also relate to this work.
Black Pool Liners - Black swimming pool liners are a common requst from pool owners. Find out in this article why most liner installers will try to talk you out of getting one for your pool.
Pool Liner Coming Out Of Track - A section of pool liner slipping out of the coping track, or a "liner pull", is a very common problem for swimming pool owners to have with vinyl pools. This article explains why this happens and how you can fix the problem.
Should I Drain My Pool For The Winter? - This article answers this important question and then delves into the specifics for each type of swimming pool as to what you can expect if you were to drain your pool for the winter.
What Size Pool Heater Do I Need? - If you need to buy a new pool heater, or want to check the calculations for how large your heater should be for your pool and spa, this article will walk you through this process. Calculations included for propane and natural gas heaters as well as electric heat pumps.
Wet Or Dry - How To Install Vinyl Pool Step Flanges - When you install a vinyl liner in a pool with in-wall steps should you install the step flange right away with the pool empty, or fill the pool up to the shallow end with water first?
Swimming Pool Steve 2017 Review - This article sums up some of the accomplishments of the www.SwimmingPoolSteve.com blog and YouTube channel including information about total pool equipment referrals to Amazon.com for the year. Also find out what is going to be new for Swimming Pool Steve in 2018.
AOP System Reviews - This article reviews some of the best AOP (advanced axidation process) swimming pool systems on the market currently. The bands included in this review are from DEL Ozone, Clear Comfort, and Prozone.
Tools That Make Working On Pools Easier - This is a great article if you work in the pool and spa industry and you are looking for tools that can help you to streamline your business and increase the type and quality of the services that your company offers.
Gift Ideas For Pool & Spa Owners - With Christmas only a few days away, this is a list of gift ideas for anyone who owns a swimming pool or hot tub. These gift ideas will help you to find something interesting, fun or unique following an aquatic theme. If you know someone who is crazy about their pool then surely you can find a great gift for them from this list.
Concrete Pool Maintenance Repairs - Learn what you need to maintain on a concrete pool in order to avoid expensive repairs down the road. This article talks about the working relationship between concrete pool coping, tiles and the interior surface and how these work together to protect your pool from water damage.
Swimming Pool Renovation Costs - Swimming pool renovations are expensive and this list looks at the top five renovation items commonly requested by pool owners that most often result in sticker shock over the high price.
12 Rites Of Passage For Swimming Pool Workers - In an industry that largely lacks regulations and certifications for workers it can be difficult to establish yourself as a professional of the trade. This list will help you determine how experienced you are working on pools and spas based on these common rites of passage that all experienced pool technicians must go through at some point in their career.
Hayward Variable Speed Pump Comparison - See the flow rates and electrical efficiency for five Hayward variable speed pumps including the EcoStar, TriStar VS, Super Pump VS and the MaxFlo VS compared side by side. This article will help you choose the best Hayward variable speed pump for your pool.
The 10 Most Popular Hot Tub Items On Amazon - This article reviewed the 100 most popular hot tub related products that sell on Amazon.com and condensed them down to the 10 most popular items that you should consider buying for your hot tub online.
The 10 Most Popular Swimming Pool Items On Amazon - This article looks at the top 100 best selling swimming pool products for sale on Amazon.com. Learn which products other pool owners are most often buying online as well as one product that you should probably avoid.
Pentair IntelliValve Review - The Pentair Intellivalve is a brand new product from Pentair designed to replaced the industry standard motorized valve actuator commonly used on pool and spa systems. While common in other plumbing industries, this is the first digital MVA from the big three pool equipment manufacturers and it is space saving, highly customizable and has three times the flow control settings of a Jandy valve actuator.
How To Drain A Swimming Pool - Learn some of the important considerations for how to drain a swimming pool safely to minimize the risk for damage to the pool. This article includes pool draining information for concrete pools, vinyl liner pools, fiberglass pools and hybrid pools.
Different Types Of Inground Pools - If you own a swimming pool it is important to know exactly what type of inground pool you have. In addition to the concrete, vinyl liner and fiberglass pools that you may be familiar with, there are also a few cross-over and hybrid swimming pool styles. If you are not exactly sure what kind of pool you have this article will help you understand some of the potential options.
Swimming Pool Industry Clean Water Charity Drive - Every day over 2000 children under the age of five years old die from a lack of access to clean and safe drinking water. If you own a swimming pool or work in the swimming pool industry please read this article. Together we can make a difference and help safe water reach the people that need it most.
Pentair Pool Pumps Comparison - With 10 models of IntelliFlo variable speed pump available such as the base model 011018, as well as the i1, i2, 2-VST, VF, VSF, XF and XSF plus a few SVRS models it can get a little confusing to the average pool owner. This article helps to compare the Pentair variable speed pump models including new and discontinued part numbers as well as the competing Sta-Rite brand that Pentair also owns.
Salt Water Pool Maintenance - If you are converting your pool to salt water, or have already converted, this article will help you to learn about salt water pool maintenance. Learn about pool maintenance unique to salt water pools as well as how to protect your pool from damage as a result of the increased salinity levels.
Pool Filter Cartridge Replacement - This quick reference article covers all things related to replacing the filter elements in your cartridge filter. Learn how to properly care for your filters and how to know when they need to be replaced as well as the OEM, Pleatco and Unicel numbers for replacement filter elements for every popular brand, make and model of pool filter.
5 Ways To Make Working On Pools Safer - The swimming pool industry can be very unforgiving and sometimes even dangerous to workers for both accidents as well as concerns for long term exposure to harmful things. This article highlights five ways that you can make working on pools safer on a day-to-day basis.
Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) & Hydroxyl Radicals - Advanced oxidation process (AOP) involves creating highly reactive hydroxyl radicals that have, by far, the most oxidizing potential of anything you use to oxidize swimming pool water. So why are you not using this in your pool? Learn more about how hydroxyl radicals are made and how they can be used for cleaning water in this article.
How To Make Your Pool More Energy Efficient - Swimming pools are a luxury however their operating costs do not need to reflect this. This article talks about the three most common ways that residential swimming pools can improve energy efficiency and where your lost efficiency dollars are being spent.
Hayward Expert Line Dealer Exclusive Pumps - This article looks at the four variable speed pool pumps offered through the dealer exclusive "expert line" of equipment. This article compares the SP32900VSP, SP32950VSP, SP23520VSP and SP23510VSP to the same versions that are available directly to consumers and online.
Challenges Of Working On Pools & Spas - So you are considering a career in the pool and spa industry? Before you start working on pools and spas be sure to read this list of challenges that you will face while working in the pool industry.
Hidden Dangers In Swimming Pools - It is widely known that swimming pools can be dangerous. This article talks about some of the potential areas for concern and danger in both new and older, existing swimming pools.
What Is The Best Pool Cover? - If you are thinking about upgrading your old pool cover system to something newer then this article will help you to understand the options available to you. Mesh pool safety covers are slowly taking over the industry and this article explains why as well as which pools are a good candidate for this type of cover system.
Low Price Swimming Pool Estimates - If you have a lower-than-average price estimate for a new pool installation or major pool renovation then you need to know why this price is so much lower than the others. This article explains what risks you take when looking at the lowest price for your project and what you most likely will not be getting for this reduced price.
How To Make Traditional Vietnamese Pho - Wait, what? How to make Vietnamese beef noodle soup...from Swimming Pool Steve? I will admit that it sounds like a stretch, but give me a chance. Read this recipe and you will quickly see the lengths that I went to in order to learn, directly from the source, how to make one of the best dishes in the world. Next to traveling to Vietnam to learn to cook like I did then this is the most authentic pho recipe you will find.
What A Pool Professional Does Differently Than The Average Pool Owner - There is a lot to know about owning a swimming pool. This article looks at what a swimming pool professional does differently day to day than the "average pool owner" that makes taking care of the pool easier overall.
How Much Money Can You Save With A Variable Speed Pump? - The calculation of how much you can expect to save by switching to a variable speed pump is complicated. This article breaks down the advantages of VS pumps and looks at which pools are likely candidates for a good return on investment. Also included is a financial breakdown comparison of how much you can potentially save on electricity per hour, per month, and over a 60 month service cycle.
Do You Need A Check Valve Between A Salt Cell & Your Heater? - This article attempts to find out if you need to have a check valve in between a salt chlorinator cell and a pool heater. It is known that erosion feeders (chlorine puck feeders) can damage heaters but can salt chlorine cells also cause the same damage? Find out what the big three pool equipment manufacturers had to say.
Things You Need To Know Before Going In A Hot Tub - This article talks about what goes through the mind of a water chemistry expert when they are asked to get into a hot tub with a questionable history of water chemistry maintenance. Learn about why professional pool workers tend to avoid pools, and especially spas, which they do not maintain themselves.
Items On Your Pool You Should NOT Fix Yourself - Swimming pools can be more dangerous than the average pool owner appreciates. This article details some of the potential hidden dangers with your pool or spa and highlights which parts of your pool should never attempt to modify, repair or troubleshoot yourself.
Vinyl Liner Pool Return Leaks - Vinyl liner pool returns tend to develop leaks and break in a predictable manner. This article talks about the correct installation for return flanges and gaskets for both Hayward and Jacuzzi fittings, as well as how to avoid pipe leaks at the wall flange with correct pipe installation on the back side of the wall. If you have a vinyl pool and suspect a leak in the returns this will be a good article for you to get started with.
15 Celebrities Who Would Suck At Maintaining Their Own Pool - It is a good thing that celebrities make enough money to pay swimming pool industry professionals to renovate, repair and maintain their pools and spas. These 15 celebrities would most likely have a lot of trouble taking care of their own pools.
Buying Pool Equipment Online - This article talks about buying swimming pool equipment online versus buying from an industry professional or brick and mortar retail pool store. Follow the path of a pump from the manufacturer to the pool to see why rock bottom internet pricing is making waves in the pool industry and what the big three manufacturers are doing to change the way pool equipment is sold, installed and warrantied.
1,000,000 Views On The Swimming Pool Steve YouTube Channel - The Swimming Pool Steve Youtube Channel has just rolled over 1 Million views and this blog article highlights some of the most popular and must see videos and video playlists on this informative channel.
Cheap Above Ground Pools - When you are looking for a cheap above ground pool there are a lot of options available to you. This article will help to differentiate between "cheap pools" and "cost effective pools" for the entry level and above ground pool market. If you are looking to buy an above ground pool online and install it yourself (or hire someone to install it) then this article will help you understand what you need to buy.
How To Fix A Floating Pool Liner - A very common problem for vinyl liner pool owners to encounter in the spring is a floating liner. If you have water behind the liner of your pool then this article will help you to understand what when wrong and what options you have to fix it.
Partying Until The Vietnamese Police Shut It Down - This article is NOT about swimming pools. This is a personal story about Swimming Pool Steve that took place exactly one year ago in Hoi An Vietnam. Find out what happens when Steve tries to keep up with the locals drinking at a party that ends up being shut down by the Vietnamese police.
Must Have Items For Above Ground Pools - Just because your pool is less permanent than an in ground pool installation does not mean that it needs to be less fun. This article talks about some of the most important upgrades you should consider if you want to get the most out of your above ground pool.
Vinyl Liner Problems - In this article learn about common problems that you can have with a vinyl liner including shrinking, wrinkles and permanent damage from adverse water chemistry. Also learn about how liner thickness is measured as well as how to ask the right questions to your liner manufacturer about where you vinyl liner was made.
Easter Island Moai Statues - Easter Island and Moai head statues made by Swimming Pool Steve using recycled styrofoam hot tub covers. If you like Easter Island statues, or just fun and whimsical garden statuary, then take a look at some of the statues that Steve makes as a hobby.
Pool Plaster VS Paint - Concrete pool interior surface plaster versus paint broken down and compared over the course of 25 years to see if paint really is any cheaper than plaster over the long term. If you have a concrete pool then this is a very important article for you to read.
Pool Opening Mistakes - This article talks about some of the most common mistakes that people can make when opening a pool in the spring and how you can avoid these common (and often expensive) problems. If you have never opened a pool before but intend to do so this year then this article is a must read.
Pool Pump Troubleshooting - With the pool opening season around the corner this article is a troubleshooting guide for pool owners who have opened their pool but can not seem to get the pump running. If you are having trouble priming your pump, or if your pump will not run correctly, especially if you have just opened your pool for the year, this article will help you identify and fix the problem.
Swimming Pool Steve In Print - This page is a collection of links to major publications, news sites and other mainstream media such as magazines that Swimming Pool Steve has recently been featured in. This includes technical articles, satire articles, current event commentary and media mentions in newspapers, magazines and radio shows.
Common Misconceptions About The Pool Industry - Swimming pool owners often develop preconceived notions about the pool industry and the people that work in it. This article talks about some of the most common misconceptions that pool owners tend to have as well as how these misconceptions came to be.
Pool Opening Tips - If you want to open your own swimming pool in the spring then this detailed article will walk you through the process from beginning to end. Learn tips from an industry expert about how to make the opening process go as quickly and as smoothly as possible including the cover, pumps, filters, heaters, salt water systems, ladders and handrails, lights, spring maintenance and water chemistry.
Pool Wall Rust Repair - Most vinyl liner swimming pools are built using galvanized steel wall kits. While these steel wall kits are very strong, and seldom require replacement, they can become rusted. This article explains why you would develop rust on the walls of a vinyl pool as well as how to fix them so you can hang a new liner in the pool safely.
Pools Without Chlorine - This article discusses the pursuit of chlorine free swimming pools and educates about the risks and concerns of operating swimming pools completely without chlorine or chemical sanitizers. If you are trying to find ways to reduce your chemical exposure from your pool then this is the article that you have been looking for.
7 Good Swimming Pool Maintenance Habits That You Should Adopt - In this article you will learn 7 important habits that you should adopt for maintaining your swimming pool to help you keep your pool operating for as long as possible for as little money as possible.
Get Informed About Salt Water - This article, which closely resembles a rant, discusses the minimum information that you need to know in order to make an informed decision about using salt water in your pool. Every person who works in the pool and spa industry should be familiar with all of the information covered in this article.
Hayward Super Pump VS Pentair SuperFlo Variable Speed Pump Comparison - Both the Hayward Super Pump VS and the Pentair SuperFlo VS are designed for the same entry level variable speed pump market. This article compares some of the features of these pumps to help you decide which would be the right one for your pool.
What Is The Best Pool Heater? - In this article multiple swimming pool heater experts give their opinion as to which the best pool heater is. This article also talks about what causes a pool heater to fail and how long you can expect a new heater to last.
The Swimming Pool Hall Of Shame - The swimming pool hall of shame is a new and ongoing section where the best of the worst swimming pools are profiled through pictures, videos and stories. If you have a swimming pool experience that is worthy of the hall of shame contact Steve to discuss having your experience profiled here in this section.
Swimming Pool Industry Trade Licensing - The swimming pool industry lacks standardized trade licensing similar to how other recognized skilled trades operate. This article talks about how the pool industry still lacks an industry recognized trade license and why there is so much difficulty with implementing a trade license program.
How To Convert A Vinyl Pool To A Concrete Pool - Converting a vinyl liner pool to a concrete pool is an extensive process. This article looks at this process and discusses the reasons why someone would want to convert an existing vinyl pool to concrete instead of just renovating it and using it as a vinyl liner pool.
Important Considerations For New Pool Shoppers - When you are researching and getting ready to have a new swimming pool installed there is so much information that you need to sift through that it can be completely overwhelming. This important article talks about some of the things that you should consider adding to your pool and backyard plans during the construction process. If you are shopping for a new pool then this article is a must read.
Common Pool Equipment Problems Explained - This article takes one example from the 50 video reviews of pool equipment installations and breaks down each deficiency and explains what the problem, and solution, is. The most common pool equipment problems discussed are restrictions to flow, signs of damage or leaks, improper salt water system installation and lack of pool equipment bonding.
Why You Should Never Ignore A Leak In Your Pool - This article talks about one of the biggest concerns for swimming pool owners which is extensive damage and repair bills from underground leaks. Even a small leak in your pool can cause serious damage if left unnoticed for an extended period of time.
Swimming Pool Steve 2016 In Review - This article takes a look back at 2016 and some of the adventures of a new digital nomad, Swimming Pool Steve. Included in this article is a video taken from half way around the world, as well as a picture of a surprise catch when fishing. With a trip to the other side of the world as well as a personal best fishing catch you might think these were the highlights of the year but the real highlight was a simple, age-old story about a father and his son.
Salt Chlorinator Installation - Installing a salt chlorine generator is a do-it-yourself level project that most pool owners can do themselves. There are however some very important installation steps that you must do to make sure that you don't accidentally damage other components of your pool. This article will make sure you understand how to install a salt system properly.
Pool Pressure Testing - Swimming pool pressure testing is one of the worst offenders when it comes to congruency of technical process between pool companies. This article talks about standards in pressure testing within the plumbing industry and how to apply these standards to the pool and spa industry.
Concrete Pool Step Repair - Do you have a concrete pool that is experiencing failure of the step treads (especially the top step)? This article will help you to understand why this is happening and how you can repair your steps and permanently solve this problem.
The 2016 Canadian Pool & Spa Conference & Expo - The Canadian Pool & Spa Expo 2016 was from December 5 to December 8 in Niagara Falls Ontario. If you did not attend, or you do not understand why people would go to these events, this article will explain the specific reasons why your business is leaving money on the table by not attending. In this article you will also learn the most important question that every pool company should be asking their pool product suppliers.
Common Pool Industry Worker Personalities - After over 25 years of working in the swimming pool industry I have noticed that many of the "interesting personalities" I have met are actually not all that unique. Here are 17 specific personality types that work for almost every swimming pool company. How many of these personalities can you identify at your pool company?
How To Market A Pool Company Website Online - If you own or operate a swimming pool company this article will teach you how to effectively market your company online, set up social media campaigns, how to get organic search traffic and how to grow the digital footprint for your business. If you need more traffic on your website this article will be a huge resource for you.
Swimming Pool Plaster Repairs - If you have a concrete swimming pool with cracks or delaminated areas in the plaster surface then this article will teach you how to mix plaster ingredients and patch your pool. Also included is information about the different ways that pool plaster can fail and how to fix these most common problems.
Vinyl Pool Floor Repairs - This article talks about the three main types of flooring in vinyl liner swimming pools and how to tell the difference between each. This information also covers how to make repairs to sand bottom pools, vermiculite bottom pools and grout bottom pools.
What Would The "Perfect" Pool Guy Look Like? - In the swimming pool industry it is a constant struggle to find reliable, honest and experienced workers. This puts a tremendous strain on human resources departments for pool companies. This article is a light hearted look at what attributes would make someone perfect for working in the pool industry.
Pool Liner Wrinkles - This article discusses all of the different ways that you can end up with a wrinkle (or wrinkles) in a vinyl pool. This includes information about measurement errors, manufacturing errors and installation errors for new liners as well as leaks and chemical damage for older liners.
Pool Salt Water Systems - This huge article compares the chlorine output ability of every major salt water chlorinator brand including Hayward, Pentair, Jandy, Zodiac, CompuPool, AutoPilot, Intex, CircuPool and Solaxx. Also included is a breakdown comparison of every model that each manufacturer offers. If you are shopping for salt water this article is the most inclusive resource you will find anywhere.
What NOT To Do To Your Swimming Pool - Too many pool owners do not understand how to properly care for their pool. If you are guilty of having a swimming pool that you do not maintain well, or at all, then you should at least read these 8 things that you should definitely avoid doing to your pool.
Pool Leak Detection - Swimming pool leak detection is a complicated subject. In this article (and videos) you will learn a series of tests that you can do to narrow down and isolate the leak in your pool including information about evaporation, dye testing, structural leaks, plumbing leaks and pressure testing for swimming pool applications.
Pool Heater Installation - Most pool heaters will fail early as a result of improper installation. This article teaches you how to install a pool heater properly and most importantly what installation errors you need to avoid. Errors in installation will most likely cause the heater to fail early and will result in no warranty coverage for the heater no matter how old (or new) it is.
How To Install A Steam Shower - If you are looking for something unique to add to your backyard oasis (or inside your home) then a steam shower may have the benefits that you are looking for. Whether you are interested in a prefabricated steam shower unit, or designing a custom built steam shower room or bath house, this article will teach you what you need to know.
Hayward MaxFlo VS Pumps - The Hayward MaxFlo variable speed pool pump is a great option for entry level VS pump shoppers looking for value. It has an affordable price tag when compared to other variable speed pumps and it has the ability to lower your electricity use dramatically. There have been three major revisions to the MaxFlo models and this article will help you to understand which models have which features.
Swimming Pool Steve on the "Homeowner with Danny Lipford" radio show - I was recently invited as a guest expert to be on the award winning radio show, Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which aired on 130 radio stations in the USA. We discussed the effectiveness of using solar heaters to extend your swimming pool season. My segment starts at the 28 minute mark of hour 2 (part 2).
Hayward Pool Heaters - This article details the Hayward Universal Digital pool heater including all BTU sizes this heater comes in. Also included is information about how to size this heater for your pool, vent hood adapters for both horizontal and vertical venting applications, as well as how to install your new heater properly.
Common Pool Closing Mistakes - Closing your own pool can save you some money but if you make a mistake it can end up costing you far more than you saved doing it yourself. Read this article about the most common mistakes that pool owners make when closing their own pool and how you can avoid these problems.
How To Get A Pool Ready For A Party - If you are planning a pool party then you are going to want to make sure that your water is heated, chemically treated and crystal clear for the big day. This article talks about what you need to do to get the pool ready as well as the timeline that you should follow to get everything ready in time.
Don't Forget These Items For Closing Your Pool - Since you only close your swimming pool once per year it can be very easy to forget some of the little things that you might need to get the job done. Check this list as a reminder to see if you have everything you are going to need to close your pool properly.
Why Did The Olympic Pools In Rio Turn Green? - A swimming pool expert explains the possible reasons that the Olympic pools in Rio turned a bright emerald green color during the 2016 summer Olympics in Brazil.
Toronto Star Article On Green Olympic Pools - Recently the largest news publication in Canada, the Toronto Star, contacted me to discuss the reasons for the green swimming pools at the Olympic games in Rio. Here is the article that they were working on including my comments on the situation.
How To Clean A Pool Filter - Pool cartridge filters need to be periodically cleaned in order for them to operate normally. Many pool owners do not clean their filters properly which can result in poor water filtration and damage to the filters. This article will teach you how to clean a pool cartridge filter and more importantly what to avoid!
How To Winterize A Swimming Pool Heater - If you need to winterize your pool heater to protect it from damage during the winter season then this article will teach you how to winterize a pool heater and get it ready for cold weather.
Pool Pump Overheating - If you have, or you think you have, a pool pump that is overheating then this article will help you to understand exactly what is happening, what to expect next from your pump, and how you can prevent your pump from getting too hot again.
Is Salt Water Bad For Your Pool? - This informative article explains the truth about salt water in swimming pools. If you have salt water, or are thinking about converting to salt water, then you need to read this article to be informed about the risks of salt.
How To Close Your Pool & Open To Crystal Clear Water - If you want your pool water to be perfectly clean and crystal clear when you open it in the spring then follow these expert tips for what chemicals you need to add to your pool when you close it.
Swimming Pool Tile Repair - If you have tiles in your pool that are cracked, chipped or fallen off completely then this article will teach you why tiles fail, how to prevent it from happening again, and how to properly install or repair swimming pool tiles.
Swimming Pool Safety Essentials - An important article on pool safety equipment that every pool owner should consider having. The idea with safety equipment for your pool is that hopefully you will never need it but you are much better off to have safety equipment and not need it versus needing it but not having it.
Things Your Pool Guy Is Too Polite To Say - This is a list of things that your pool guy is too polite to say to you (or just won't say). If you could read the mind of your pool technician then these are some of the things that they might be thinking but not saying.
How To Get The Most Life Out Of Your Pool - This article highlights common small problems that develop into bigger, more expensive problems for your pool in the future. Learn where you should NOT skimp on your swimming pool maintenance and upkeep.
Famous People Who Could Have Been Pool Builders - It takes a certain something to be a swimming pool builder. In this funny article Steve identifies famous people who had what it takes to be a pool builder had they not been led astray by being powerful, rich and famous instead.
How To Replace A Pool Skimmer - If you have a broken or cracked skimmer on your pool then this article will show you the process of how to replace a pool skimmer as well as first hand tips on how to deal with common problems that you might encounter. Both concrete pool skimmers as well as vinyl liner pool skimmer replacement is covered.
How To Make Fake Rocks - Learn directly from Steve how to make fake rocks and artificial stone garden statues. Steve has perfected these techniques after thousands of hours of practice, trial and error to make realistic, strong and weather resistant fake rocks. You can use these techniques to make landscaping rocks, address stones, outdoor kitchens, waterfalls, sculptures, statues and much more.
The Hayward Ecostar VS Review - One of the most commonly asked questions emailed to Steve is about which variable speed pump is the best. While "the best pump" is a subjective question, this blog article looks at one of the best variable speed pumps, the Hayward Ecostar, in more detail. Flow rates, efficiency, comparison with the Pentair Intelliflo as well as important warranty information for USA and Canadian Ecostar owners.
How To Loosen Tight PVC Fittings - looks at the very common problem of stuck or seized PVC fittings, unions or valves and how you can try to open them. Learn which tools you can use to deal with this problem and which are better off left in the toolbox (or kitchen drawer).
The Pool Heater Checklist - is a list of common reasons why swimming pool natural gas and propane heaters tend to fail early. By following the steps in this article you will dramatically increase the service life you can expect to get from your pool heater.
How To Fix Pool Plumbing Leaks - if you have a suspected leak somewhere in your pool system, or in a known location such as with the pump, filter, heater, skimmer or returns, this article talks about common pool leaks as well as information about different repair options.
Important Hot Tub Care Tips - talks about the most important hot tub chemicals that you are most likely NOT using properly. Spa water should be crystal clear and have no smell or foam at all. This article will teach you how to get your spa clean, clear and smell free.
Pool Customer Profiles is a funny and lighthearted article for people who work in the pool industry about the different types of pool owners and pool customers you will encounter in your life as a pool service technician.
How To Install A Pool Solar Heater will teach you how to determine how many solar collectors you will need for your pool as well as tips for installing a zoned bypass plumbing configuration for both manual as well as automatic control of a pool solar heater. Solar heating is the least expensive form of pool heating available - so long as you understand the limitations of this form of heat.
How To Open A Swimming Pool is a great article for pool owners looking to learn more about the steps usually involved with opening a pool for the season in the spring. This is one of the better maintenance tasks for pool owners to try to take on themselves.
What Is The Best Pool Equipment is the most common question that I receive from pool owners. This article looks at some of the motivating factors behind how to decide what is the best pool equipment for you to buy.
Concrete Mixes 101 is a detailed article about how to work with concrete as well as a list of every common concrete mix recipe that you might need. There are also tips on how to get professional results as well as a list of which tools and materials you might need. If you are new to concrete, or looking to improve your understanding of concrete application then this would be a great article to start with.
Fact VS. Fiction - Common Myths About Swimming Pools is an interesting and funny article that dispels some common misconceptions about swimming pools and the swimming pool industry in general. Pop culture references, a working dog, a live bear and an homage to Spaceballs the movie...what's not to love?
The Best Pool Toys is a look at they types of swimming pool toys and inflatables that are available for kids (and adults) now. If you are looking to make your pool party extra amazing - or simply want to have the most fun in your pool possible then this is the article to get you started.
Help For New Swimming Pool Owners looks at some of the less commonly discussed problems and questions that people new to owning, operating and caring for a swimming pool might not know yet. This article serves as a starting point for new pool owners to begin the process of researching and understanding how to clean, care for and maintain a pool.
Hand Held Pool Vacuum Reviews Similar to a dust buster style vacuum these hand held pool vacuums can operate on a battery charge which means they do not require an electrical cord like robotic pool vacuums or any hoses to be connected to the pool circulation and filtration system. This article looks at the different hand held vacuums on the market and compares the abilities of each model.
How To Install A Pool Liner is a very detailed article that serves to discuss every aspect of measuring, ordering and installing a new pool liner. This first hand information is perfect for any person thinking of trying to install their own pool liner themselves since this is something most commonly left to the experts to do.
Pool Slide Reviews see all models of pool slide from S.R Smith as well as Inter-Fab compared side by side including both total height and seat height for each model. Also includes total deck area needed for each as well as general information how how to install a pool slide yourself.
7 Common Mistakes That Pool Owners Make is a funny article designed to help pool owners (especially new pool owners) to understand some of the common mistakes that pool owners can make - and how to avoid them.
Pool Ozone Generator Reviews learn how ozone works in pools, how much you need to have to make a difference in the water as well as a side by side comparison of every brand, make and model of pool ozone generator including total ozone output from each.
The Swimming Pool Steve Video Blog is a candid, conversational video blog series where Steve talks about subjects relating to the pool and spa industry. Organized into YouTube playlists these video blog entries are simple enough for any pool owner to understand, and still in-depth and technical enough for experienced pool and spa technicians to learn as well. Have a coffee with Swimming Pool Steve and learn from an industry expert in these "one on one" lessons.
Pool Pump Reviews for single speed pumps for above ground and inground swimming pools. This detailed review and buyers guide compares flow rates for every model of pump from all major pump manufacturers.
How To Paint A Concrete Pool with this tutorial from Swimming Pool Steve that gives pool owners the lowest possible cost approach to long term maintenance of their pool interior surface. Using this painting process you can paint the pool yourself and save many thousands of dollars!
How To Install A Pool Safety Cover including how to measure, order and install swimming pool safety covers for all types, shapes and sizes of swimming pools. This extensive article also includes concrete deck installations, interlock stone deck installations and safety cover installations into grass or garden areas. Also covered is exclusions such as step covers, slide legs, diving board bases, diving rocks and pool-side waterfalls.
Swimming Pool Heat Pump Reviews by Swimming Pool Steve will help you to understand how a heat pump works to determine if one will meet your expectations for heat. Also included are calculations for sizing as well as general guidelines for how to get the most out of your investment in a pool heat pump. Compared in this buyers guide are all above ground and in ground swimming pool heat pumps from Hayward, Pentair, Jandy and Raypak.
The Online Hot Tub Buyers Guide reviews the difference between classes of hot tubs from entry level inflatable spas to permanent 220 volt hot tubs. If you are shopping for a new hot tub this article is a must read. Hot tubs are often purchased from dealerships much like purchasing a new car (and the prices are similar) but if you have limited access to local spa dealers and want to make an informed purchase online, then this article is perfect for you.
The Pool Vacuum Cleaner Buyers Guide & Review by Swimming Pool Steve is an in-depth review of every brand, make and model of swimming pool vacuum on the market. This includes all suction based cleaners, pressure side cleaners and robotic pool vacuum cleaners including a breakdown of comparable models and features. It can be difficult to tell what the difference between different models is - but this article will help you to determine which pool vac is right for your needs. Models for both above ground pools as well as in ground pools are covered in this article.
Swimming Pool Steve is featured as an industry expert author in Pool & Spa Marketing Magazine September 2015 edition with an in-depth look at one of the most misunderstood concepts in the pool and spa industry - Understanding the electromechanical process of galvanic corrosion.
High pH Causes Extreme Calcification - A very interesting case study of a concrete pool where the pH and calcium hardness levels were left unattended in a running pool for almost a year. The result was extremely high pH and high calcium levels resulting in calcium to come out of solution and form crystal growth over the entire interior surface of the pool.
9 Items That Every Pool Should Have - In this informative and light hearted article, Swimming Pool Steve talks about some of the must have items that every pool owner should have for their pool. From the best gifts for Mom & Dad, to the most fun pool toy, to saving the most money possible operating your pool, this article is a must read for any pool owner.
**Must see for pool owners!**Tips For Installing Pool Equipment - As part of a new ongoing feature, watch Swimming Pool Steve review installations of swimming pool and spa equipment, and discuss the deficiencies in these systems. Additional sections on pipe materials, plumbing fittings, glue, primer, valves and unions explaining some of the commonly used materials for installing pool and spa equipment. Warning - This article is HUGE and the page will take a minute to load!
The Ultimate Salt Water Review & Buyers Guide - Are you thinking of switching to salt water chlorine for your pool? In this article Swimming Pool Steve discusses the most common brands and models of salt water systems available for swimming pools. Also covered are the myths and facts about whether salt water can damage your pool and information about do-it-yourself installation of a salt water generator.
How To Clean A Dead Body From A Swimming Pool (and other really dirty pool solutions) - Every year swimming pool professionals get asked the same questions about how to clean up a dirty swimming pool. This article is the end of the line for this common question as Swimming Pool Steve describes how to clean the dirtiest of swimming pools!
6 Things You Should Never Say To Your Pool Guy - Take a look at the lighter side of the pool and spa industry with this funny
article about common things that swimming pool technicians hear from customers. Read this list and avoid the embarrassment of saying these six things you should never
3 Things To Buy For Your Pool Instead Of Salt Water - Before you go ahead and make the switch to salt water you should consider the risks as well as the benefits. This article outlines some of the common reasons that people buy salt water chlorine systems and 3 alternatives that you might want to consider instead of going with salt.
The Pool Builder Nightmare Questionnaire - Any person looking to have a new pool installed knows well the concern over how to find a reputable builder to work with. This nightmare questionnaire will put your pool installer in the hot seat with these questions designed to find out who really knows swimming pools and who just wants your money.
Chlorine VS Bromine - Learn the difference between using chlorine versus bromine in your pool and spa as the chemical sanitizer and why one of these may be more suitable for you than the other.
Pool Buyers Beware - Read an interview with Swimming Pool Steve that talks about the current state of the pool and spa industry and how this impacts customers currently shopping for pool installers.