Conquer the Winter Blues with Hydrotherapy At Home

Exercise and relaxation can lift your spirits during the long winter months. Hydrotherapy is a centuries-old method used to improve  mental and physical well-being — the CDC reports that water exercise is beneficial for people with chronic conditions such as arthritis as well as for mood and mental health.

But, getting out to the gym or to the spa can be a struggle to schedule. Recently, there have been many closures and changes due to the pandemic, or those icy cold mornings can make it hard to get out in the morning. This year, skip the gym membership and create your own at-home workout and spa space with a swim spa or hot tub. A hot tub or swim spa can upgrade your backyard or finished basement space, to make relaxing and exercising easy for the whole family. Here are tips for creating your own home gym and spa:

Select Your Vessel

Is a hot tub or swim spa better suited to your wellness needs? A hot tub is optimal for hydrotherapy, with high temperatures and jets that can help with stress relief and muscle relaxation. You can also do light workouts in the hot tub, but if exercise is your goal, a swim spa may be the right choice. Swim spas are larger, allowing for more movement like lunges, rowing, aerobics, crunches, and even swimming laps.

You’ll need to consider the location, maintenance plan, and budget before making your choice and building your space. Read here for more information about hot tubs and swim spas, and how to decide what’s right for you.

Build A Workout Plan

If you’re not already into water aerobics or swimming laps at your local pool, find which exercises are right for you to meet your goals. For your home gym or spa time, set a schedule for your workouts so you can prepare the hot tub or swim spa, like heating up the hot tub in the morning for exercise and again in the evening for a soak. Picking days and times will help keep you on track and on schedule, to get the most physical and mental benefit.

Create Ambiance

Create a calming space for your at-home spa days. Set up lighting around your hot tub or swim spa, you can add outdoor lights or maybe colored lighting inside the vessel. Add scented candles in the room – away from the hot tub – or an essential oil diffuser. Make sure to find a space to store the equipment you need, such as noodles or weights for swim spa workouts and towels and a hamper nearby.

Keep the It Clean and Ready for Anything

Hot tub water and sweat from swimming laps in a swim spa can make cleaning and maintenance a challenge. The chemicals need to be balanced regularly to prevent bacteria that can cause hot tub rash. Technology can make managing a home gym or spa easy: The pHin Smart Water Monitor helps you keep water in balance by taking measurements, sending alerts, and guiding you through custom chemical dosing instructions.

Learn more about pHin at phin.co.

It’s Time to Build Your Winter Fitness Plan

Spice up your fitness routine to get active and stay healthy all winter long. A swim spa, hot tub, or indoor pool will be your new favorite spot for exercising for an intense, full-body workout with low impact on your joints.

If you’re considering adding water to your exercise routine and want to add a hot tub or pool to your home, the pHin team is here to help you get started:

The Benefits of Water Workouts

Water offers resistance, making exercises in the pool or swim spa more challenging without additional equipment. Aquatic exercises are beneficial for a full-body workout to build muscle and boost cardio endurance.

Seniors and those with chronic conditions can also benefit from aquatic exercises that can help to soothe with frequent joint and muscle pain from. The water buoyancy is gentle and low impact to reduce the stress on joints. Some exercises use foam “weights,” but many can be done with no extra equipment!

Set Your Goals

As you plan your aquatic workouts, decide which part of the body you would like to focus on. Are you looking to build muscle in your arms and core, or do you want to increase your cardio endurance? Tailor your exercise plan to fit your personal needs whether that be strength or cardio training.

If you want to increase overall cardio endurance, consider walking or jogging in the water. Swim spa owners can take advantage of their system’s water resistance feature, and some swim spas even allow them to swim “laps.” In an indoor pool owner, you can walk or jog back and forth across the pool and increase muscle with arm and leg raises, pushups against the wall, butterfly kicks, and other routines that require more space.

Stay Safe

Using your indoor pool or swim spa as your exercise routine can put you on the path to achieving fitness goals, big or small. As you build your aquatic exercise plan, check with your doctor to make sure the plan is acceptable for you. You should always wear water shoes in the water to prevent yourself from slipping during your workout. It’s important to pay attention to your body as you are exercising: because you’re working out in the water, you may not realize how tired and sweaty you become, so it’s important to stay hydrated.

Safety equipment is important, but don’t forget the water quality. Especially in hot water where you’ll be sweating, the water must be well maintained to prevent harmful bacteria from growing. Choosing a pool workout doesn’t have to add more work, you can easily use the pHin Smart Water Monitor to keep the water balanced and safe. From the app, you can simply check if the water is safe before each workout. And it’ll keep your water in-shape with water testing and simple chemical dosing instructions.

Happy exercising!

The Future of Pool Care is Smart

Every home is becoming smarter, as families add devices to make their lives easier and safer. Smart door locks ensure that the house is secure, or a water leak detector can send an alert if water is detected in the basement or under the sink.

Connected experiences like this aren’t limited to the home, they can make life with a pool or hot tub easier and safer, too with connected apps and devices. Here are today’s connected pool experiences:

Smart Lights

Many families added smart lights inside the home, whether to save on energy with schedules or to add ambiance with different colors. Did you know that you can have smart lights in your pool, too? ColorLogic® LED lights can be added to most pools. Not only are they energy efficient, but they can brighten up a pool party or a night swim with 10 different color choices and seven color-changing shows.

Smart Water Balance

It’s easier to have fun in your pool when you know the water is safe, but chemical balance can be a challenge even for veteran pool owners. The pHin Smart Water Monitor measures the water over 1,000 times per week, and sends alerts and instructions when the water is out of balance. A pool technician can also connect to stay in-the-know about the water quality so they can schedule service when it’s needed.

Pool Control from Anywhere

Pool owners can ‘set and forget’ their equipment using the OmniHub® from Hayward. It works with most pools and spas, giving users control through the app to turn on/off or set schedules for their equipment, including variable-speed pumps, heaters, pool/spa color lights, spa settings, AquaRite® salt systems, booster pumps, backyard lighting, and water features.

A Robot for Your Pool

Many families have a robotic vacuum that keeps their floors clean for them. Pool owners can spend less time on pool cleaning with robot vacuums like Hayward’s AquaVac® 500. It’s designed with two scrubbing brushes to clean the walls and floors of the pool, programmed to find the most efficient path possible. It uses 94% less energy than other cleaners, and it’s also automatic: Users can set it to operate every 24, 48, or 72 hours.

If you haven’t started with the smart pool devices available today, it might be time to revamp your pool care routine. Who knows what will come next!

Did you know? 12 Fast Facts About pHin

Whether you’re a long-time pHin user or testing the water for our smart pool care, learn these 12 fun facts and technical details you might not know about pHin:

  1. Born in 2015: A pool owner was tired of testing his water and calculating chemical dosing, so he created pHin to remove the guesswork to getting safe water. After building a team and developing the product, pHin launched in 2015.
  2. Works with over 200 chemicals: Pool owners can choose which chemicals they’d like to use with pHin from a large database – and they can request additions if their brand isn’t included already.
  3. pHin measures the water more than anyone: Most homeowners check their pool or hot tub water weekly. pHin blows their tests out of the water, by measuring the water up to 1,000 times per week.
  4. 1 billion samples: Over the years, pHin has collected and analyzed over 1 billion water samples in thousands of pools, hot tubs, and swim spas across the country.
  5. Algorithms makes measuring smarter: pHin does more than check the parts per million (ppm) of chemicals in the water, it analyzes the effectiveness of the sanitizer, whether chlorine, bromine, or salt, to provide intelligent dosing instructions. Learn more about “Kill Power” here.
  6. pHin is friendly with any pool: pHin isn’t only for pools, it can monitor and help you balance a hot tub or swim spa, too!
  7. Amazon Alexa talks to pHin: Now you can check on your water balance without even opening the app. Ask Alexa if your pool water is safe or for the temperature of your hot tub before jumping in. Learn more here.
  8. pHin doesn’t like the cold, but has a “Winter” mode: pHin can’t stay outside in the cold weather, but it has a special winter setting so pHin can hibernate for the winter and come out for the next pool opening.
  9. You can travel with pHin: Worried about the water quality of pools and hot tubs at rental homes and Airbnbs? Take your pHin on the road to check that the balance is safe before taking a dip.
  10. pHin can help your pool tech: Your pool technician can be connected to your pHin so they can check in on your water balance remotely and schedule service as needed.
  11. Data from pHin could save your pool: Monitoring your water does more than keep it in balance, the start of an imbalance could indicate that a piece of equipment is on the fritz or about to break. John Sciacca wrote about his experience in Residential Systems.
  12. Unlimited help from pHin: The smart monitor has a battery that can last up to two years, but if it runs out you can get a free replacement any time if you have the monitoring subscription.

Learn anything new? If you’re ready to add smart technology to your water care routine, click here.

Keeping Your Pool Balanced After Rainfall

Between summer thunderstorms and hurricane season, rainfall can have an impact on pool water balance. The acid and contaminants in rainwater can cause the pool’s pH levels to rise, affecting the chemical balance of the water.

You can plan for rainfall by adding chemicals before and afterward to keep your water balanced. Here’s how:

Before the Storm

Being proactive and making sure the pool water is balanced before and during rainfall will help you keep the water in good shape throughout the season. Keep an eye on the weather in your area so you know when rain is on the way: When you’re expecting heavy rain, actively check the pH and chlorine levels of your pool and add additional chemicals accordingly.

After the Storm

Even after a mild rainstorm, pool chemicals can become diluted. In addition to your regular pool water maintenance routine, it’s especially important to check the water after rainfall. When the rain has stopped, check the pH level of the water first. If the pH is below 7.0, add more chlorine to the pool before you increase the pH, adding chlorine will typically increase the pH on its own.

If your chlorine level is low, you will need to add more chlorine until levels are back to normal.

Keeping track of your pool’s chemistry levels is difficult, especially after they’ve been altered by a rainstorm. You can keep an eye on your pool water status during the rain without even needing to grab your umbrella with the help of pHin! The pHin Smart Monitor sends real-time updates about your water status, taking over 1,000 measurements per week.

If the pH levels of your pool become unbalanced following the storm, pHin will send an alert in the app or via email. It’ll also provide easy-to-understand chemical dosing instructions to get the water balanced after the rain has passed.

After you make chemical updates, make sure your pool is running properly. Most rainstorms bring leaves and outside debris into the pool area and water, use a skimmer or vacuum to clean the pool before your next swim. Once the pool is clean, check the water level. If the water level is above normal, you’ll need to drain the water — too much water in the pool will cause issues with the skimmer which can lead to water chemistry issues.

Learn more about pHin at pHin.co.

Take the Dive: Build and Maintain Your Own Swimming Pool

Our friends at Porch.com share tips for building and maintaining your own swimming pool.

Looking for an epic way to spend your summers? Consider adding a swimming pool to your home to create the ultimate staycation, day after day. Nothing says home like sipping a soda poolside as you watch the kids playing a game of Marco Polo or swimming laps for an all-body cardio workout in a refreshing environment. It’s the perfect way to host family get-togethers or parties for your kids’ friends, and we have some advice to help you plan for, build, and maintain a backyard pool.

Along with ensuring fun for kids or a relaxing oasis for adults, building a swimming pool can give a huge boost to the market value of your home. “Does it have a pool?” is a common question that Realtors field from potential home buyers, especially in warmer climates.

Pre-Pool Considerations

Adding a pool to your life (and yard) is an exciting experience. Before you start making pool plans, though, take a good look at your yard. Will a pool enhance your backyard ambiance? Is your yard big enough, and is there adequate access to your backyard for a contractor to dig dirt (and haul it away) and build your pool? Are there trees or a deck in the way that will need to be removed? Do you have existing utility easements, and are wires or pipes running underneath in that location? Will you need to build retaining walls?

These are some of the considerations you’ll need to investigate before you take the leap into pool ownership.

Start Planning Your Pool

As you move from the dreaming to the planning stage, you’ll need to factor in some things, including how much you’ll need to invest in building and maintaining your pool. During the planning process, there’s plenty to do, from deciding what type of pool you want, hiring a contractor, obtaining financing if needed, getting permits, and preparing the location.

Budgeting for a Pool

There are different kinds of pools: above-ground pools and inground pools. The actual cost of your pool will depend on your region and other factors like the size, materials, and features. The average above-ground pool is more economical, and the price also depends on where you live, what materials you use, the size, and other features like an optional deck around the pool.

Factor in Extra Costs

When you’re budgeting, make sure you set aside extra money for electrical work, plumbing, landscaping, fencing and patio improvements. After it’s built, keep extra funds to spend on repairs for your pool pump, lights, and other parts, along with chemicals and professional cleaning.

You may also need to build a fence around your pool. Many cities and counties require a fence for safety reasons.

Before you build a pool, keep in mind that you’ll have monthly fees for pool maintenance and extra electricity to run the pump and other pool components. If you don’t use your pool year-round, don’t forget to factor in the cost of cleaning, preparing for, and safely covering your pool for the winter. These costs will vary depending on the type and size of the pool you build and where you live.

You’ll also want to budget the cost of adding your pool to your existing house insurance policy. Also, ask your agent about liability insurance in case someone is hurt while using your pool.

Where Do you Put Your New Pool?

It’s location, location, location for your new pool. Some people prefer their pool steps away from the back door, while others place their pool a little farther into the yard. The location is up to you, while still considering what’s already in your yard. You’ll want it to blend beautifully with your home and landscape.

Remember, though, that you’ll need to adhere to your local government’s property setbacks for pools and any restrictions if you have a homeowner’s association.

Building your Pool

Now that you’ve decided a pool is in your future, it’s time to rely on your chosen contractor to handle the designing, building, and installation of your pool.

Your contractor will help you decide on the best size, shape, and materials for your pool, whether it’s made from pre-formed fiberglass, or built on-site with vinyl liners or poured concrete. Some homeowners love the convenience and cleaning ease of a smooth fiberglass pool. Fiberglass pools are also a popular choice because they arrive assembled and ready to lower into the hole dug by your contractor’s crew. Or, you may opt for a concrete pool or vinyl liner pool. Above-ground pools are made of steel, aluminum, or resin, with liners. You can also purchase affordable inflatable vinyl above-ground pools that you can set up yourself.

How Long Will it Take?

Swimming pools aren’t built within a weekend. All kinds of variables factor into how long you’ll wait before that first delicious dip into sparkling waters.

Above-ground pools can be installed faster than other types of pools, ready within days. Fiberglass inground pools may take a week or two. Vinyl liner pools may take two weeks to over a month before they’re ready to enjoy. The most expensive pool option, concrete, takes the longest time to complete because construction is more complicated and involves pouring and curing concrete. You may wait months for the project’s completion and your first fun pool party. Other factors, like the weather, can affect the timing of completion.

Pool Decor

While you’re designing your pool, add some color and decorative tiles for a special, relaxing touch. Consider other custom options like underwater lighting, an infinity edge, bench seating or a tanning ledge, ensuring years of personalized enjoyment. Do you plan to swim laps, requiring a longer pool, or prefer weekend relaxing on a water float with a drink in your hand? Consider a shaded lounging area with easy-care pavers, concrete or decking.

While your pool’s under construction, pick out lounge seating, landscaping, and outdoor lighting around your pool or even hide those pipes or structures that are not pleasing to the eye in the backyard. Now’s your chance to turn it into your dream oasis. You might also consider installing some type of privacy fencing or shade material to shield your pool from neighbors’ views.

Taking Care of your Swimming Pool

Once your pool is up and running, you’ll need to maintain it regularly. Familiarize yourself with the parts of your pool and how they work. This will help you troubleshoot if something stops working.

Your pool may be basic, or it may have all the bells and whistles like advanced heating and lights or underwater speakers. Your pool may have an automatic pool cover or maybe an above-ground one that the kids spend their weekends in. Either way, all pools share basic components like (of course) water, a filter system, the interior walls or liner, a pool pump, skimmers and returns to circulate the water.

Keep the walls, bottom and/or lining of your pool clean. Those surfaces are always in contact with pool water and can collect debris, algae and mold if not properly cared for.

To keep your pool sparkling clean, you’ll want to buy supplies including a net skimmer, pool brush, and pool vacuum. Use these to help keep bugs, leaves, and other stuff from making your pool unsightly. Residue from shampoos, sunblock, and perfume can also create cleaning issues for your pool.

At least once a week, use the skimmer, brush and vacuum on your pool. Some pool owners find automatic pool cleaners are a huge time-saver. The cleaner patrols your pool whenever you want, brushing the sides and bottom so you don’t have to.

The pool pump keeps your water circulating so your pool doesn’t become polluted and cloudy. Try to run your filter a minimum of 10 to 12 hours a day or more, 7 days a week, according to recommendations from “A Beginner’s Guide to Pool Maintenance”. You’ll also want to backwash your filter regularly, reversing the flow of water so dirty water and contaminants are carried out of your pool.

Chemistry Class

Keeping your pool water clean and balanced is crucial for safe summer fun, according to the Swim University beginner’s guide. Keep a water testing kit nearby so you can tell right away if your pool chemistry is unbalanced, and what to do to bring the water back to sparkling, safe levels.

Your pool’s pH level is important Lower pH levels are considered acidic, and high levels are basic. You should aim for a pH of 7.4 to 7.6. You’ll also need to check the alkalinity, which is a pH buffer so your pool doesn’t have big spikes. Try to keep this between 100 and 150 parts per million, the beginner’s guide advises.

Keep an eye on the level of your chlorine or bromine sanitizer, too. You may need to add chemicals, including an occasional night-time chemical “shock” after rainstorms or heavy pool use. Following directions and safety precautions ensures pool-chemical maintenance success.

Maintenance Schedule

Set up a pool maintenance schedule and stick to it. The more often you regularly skim, clean, backflush, and check chemicals, the more comfortable you’ll become with the routine. Write up a list with dates of the duties and post somewhere that’s easily seen, like on the refrigerator. You can involve the family with the duties, too.

Some homeowners prefer to spend their pool time relaxing so they pay a pool company to maintain the pool chemicals and cleaning schedule.

Enjoying your Swimming Pool

The reward of owning and maintaining a pool is being able to enjoy it whenever you like and the perfect host for all kinds of get-togethers. Your family will cherish this pool for years, and it’s a great incentive for relatives and friends to visit. A pool is the perfect low-impact way to exercise, too, giving a great cardiovascular workout that’s easy on joints and muscles and ensuring less risk of injury.

You can set up a pool basketball hoop or net for hours of fun. Your kids will invent their own pool games, too, under careful supervision of an adult.

Safety First

While a pool brings years of joy, it also comes with the responsibility of making sure swimmers are safe. Make certain your pool meets all fencing and pool signage requirements, and keep a first aid kit nearby. Now is the perfect time to become certified in CPR. In the United States, you can find courses through the American Red Cross, your local YMCA or a swimming organization near you.

Have an adult who knows how to swim watching when kids are in the pool and keep a locking, alarmed fence around your pool when it’s not in use. Parents of smaller children often feel more secure installing alarms on the doors leading to the pool.

Bring on the Fun

Although the price of building and maintaining a swimming pool can be costly, most homeowners discover that having endless days of laughter and fun under the sun, conveniently right outside their back door, is worth every penny.

This piece was originally posted on Porch.com and has be published with permission.

Why pHin Is The “Best Tech Investment” of One User’s Smart Home

Smart home technology can be found in more and more homes, offering convenience, peace of mind, and fun. Most devices are inside the home, like smart speakers, connected light bulbs, and smart door locks. But the smart home has now extended to the backyard with the pHin Smart Water Monitor.

John Clancy is a veteran pool owner, having managed pools in both of his homes over the last 20 years. An executive in the smart home technology space, his two residences are fully equipped with state-of-the-art Crestron smart home systems that he and his family use to control everything from the lights, shades, thermostats, TVs, and more. John is always testing the latest technology that can make his life easier, or even make it more fun. When John heard about pHin, it seemed like the perfect addition to his smart technology lifestyle.

After using it for a few weeks, pHin has already transformed John’s pool care routine. “I use pHin every day. I’ve owned pools for the last 20 years, and pHin makes enjoying and managing my pool convenient and easy,” he commented. Using the pHin smartphone app, his pool care routine is simple: John can see the status of his pool water any time in the pHin app, which has become a daily habit. Seeing important metrics about his pool at a glance, including the temperature, pH level, and sanitizer allow John to proactively manage the chemistry and temperature of the pool and maximize fun time. Instead of having to check chemicals and adjust the temperature on Saturday mornings, before a pool party, or in the afternoon for a workout, he can simply check the app and then jump in.

“I will also say that the accuracy at which the levels are reported from pHin are amazing,” added John.  “When my pool company was here this week for our weekly maintenance, their readings matched all three metrics exactly on my pHin app.”

pHin also accounts for the other elements of routine pool water care, providing test-strips and a reference card. It’s a simple process, analyzing a photo of the used test-strip in the app to provide other readings important to the overall pool chemistry. According to John, “The best part, which is unlike any other test strips I have ever used, is that it tells you exactly what chemicals and the quantities to add to remedy any unbalance.”

Whether you’re new to pool care or an experienced pool owner like John, smart technology like pHin can make water care simple.

Learn more about how pHin works here: https://www.phin.co/

Dads Love pHin! Hear Why From 4 Users

Summer is in full swing and many pool and hot tub owners have gotten their water care routine started, with the help of pHin. Dads who handle pool water care want to make sure it’s safe, and pHin is a great helper. With Father’s Day around the corner, we asked a few dads why they trust pHin to keep their water in safe swimming condition for their family:

“The pHin Smart Monitor was a breeze to install and instantly gives me all the feedback on the overall health of my pool right on my phone. I especially like that it can send notifications via the app so any chemical imbalances can be addressed immediately by me or sent to my pool maintenance company.” – — Joe Hageman, Narragansett, Rhode Island

“The pHin smart monitoring system is extremely accurate and reliable. The size is non-intrusive, not annoying like a large pool float. The product is sleek like a fin and floats 24/7 in the pool. It is pretty darn accurate when it comes to diagnostic readings of pH levels within the app. When used properly and following the recommended chemicals it automatically evaluates the water and let’s you know right away if the pH is balanced, the smart technology app capability really takes the guesswork out making this a good investment. I love this product I talk about it to all my coworkers and neighbors.  Living in sunny southern California all my neighbors have pools and have asked how they can get one.”

— Kevin Oswald, Murrieta, California

“Owning a pool should be fun, but it is frequently more a guessing game and source of irritation. Is there enough chlorine? Is there too much chlorine? Is algae going to start blooming? Is the pH level correct? Is the water healthy to swim in? How much of what chemical do I need to add and when? With pHin I can take a quick look at the app and know everything is the way it is supposed to be, and if something is off, see exactly how much of which chemical to add. Plus, I can check on the water temp and have visible proof for my girls that the water is definitely still too cold for dad to go swimming!” — John Sciacca, Myrtle Beach, North Carolina –

“Anyone tasked with taking care of a pool or spa will love having a pHin. It allows you to keep a regular eye on your pool, tells you which chemicals need to be added and when, and if your treatments are having the desired effect. So far, this pool season has been great thanks to pHin!”

— Kevin St. Lawrence, Richmond, Rhode Island 

Want to gift a pHin for Father’s Day this year?  Buy now on pHin.co.

What Makes Your Pool Green?

As a pool owner, there’s nothing worse than looking out at your pool and seeing green water. It can happen even to experienced pool owners, but it’s easily reversible once you know what caused the issue in the first place.

The pHin experts put together a list of reasons why pool water goes green:

#1 Not Enough Chlorine

Chlorine is important for sanitizing water from bacteria and other contaminants. Lack of chlorine is one of the most common causes of green pools. If the pool water is not balanced with proper chlorine levels, algae will start to grow, causing the water to turn green. The growth of algae also speeds up as warmer weather arrives so a regular pool care routine can keep it in check.

#2 The Weather

Depending on where you live, the weather can have an impact on your pool water clarity. When pollen levels are high, the water may turn green more frequently. Pollen is too small to be properly managed by the pool filter and it might require cleaning with a brush or skimmer. For those who live in hot and humid climates where algae thrives, a higher amount of chlorine can help prevent potential algae buildup.

#3 Unbalanced pH

pH measures the acidity of your pool water, and can fluctuate due to weather, temperature, and pool use. If the pH of the water is too high, chlorine becomes less effective, which can allow algae to grow in the water.  Monitoring your pH levels, along with a regular pool care routine, can help prevent an environment where algae can grow.

#4 Pool Pumps and Filters

If your pump or filter is too small for the size of your pool, the system can’t properly filter and get rid of algae and other debris that enter the pool. Or even the right size pump can’t effectively clear the water if it’s not running regularly. Check with your pool manufacturer for the right size and run time required for your pool to keep it safe.

Keeping an eye on your pool water conditions and equipment can prevent a cloudy green pool. pHin can help by reporting whether your pH levels need attention. It takes over 1,000 measurements a week,and will alert you through your smartphone app if your water’s pH is off. When there’s a problem, you’re not on your own – pHin also helps out by providing chemical dosing instructions to right the imbalance before the water gets off track.

Learn more about pHin here.

New Pool? Tips for Getting Water Ready for Swimming

You wanted a pool, longing to jump into cool water after a hot day, splashing with your family on the weekends, or floating around with a cocktail after work. So, you researched. You planned and consulted. You purchased, you landscaped, and you waited.

Congratulations on your new pool! A pool full of new water isn’t safe to swim in right away. To get the most out of it (and protect your investment), you need to prepare it before welcoming swimmers. pHin team put together what you need to know to get your water safe and ready for swimming:

Assemble your tools.

Every pool owner should have a standard set of tools they use to test and treat their pool water. That includes:

  • A water test kit
  • Pool brushes and cleaning tools
  • Chemicals
    • Chlorine or salt, depending on your system
    • Baking soda
    • Muriatic acid: One of the chemicals used to lower pH and total alkalinity in pools. Follow the instructions on the label, and make sure it is compatible with your pool; some muriatic acid can’t be used in hot tubs or with fiberglass, vinyl, or painted pools.
    • Sequestering agent: Iron and copper can build up in your pool. Sequestering agents help prevent staining and scaling by suspending the metal particles in solution.

Test the pool water.

Take your first water measurements with test strips to get the pH, chlorine, and total alkalinity levels of the water. You can purchase a test kit at your local pool store, or online.

Safe water should have pH between 6.8 and 7.2, and total alkalinity between 70 and 80 ppm.

There is a range for an optimal pH, which should then be raised between 8 7.1 and 7.7 for chlorine pools and 7.0 and 7.5 for salt pools. Lower pH provides better sanitizing benefits. At the same time, this will raise the total alkalinity. For example, concrete pools should have total alkalinity between 80 and 120 ppm, where painted, vinyl, or fiberglass pools should be between 125 and 170 ppm.

Remember, whenever you’re adding chemicals to your pool, use extra caution to prevent them from touching your skin or eyes, by using gloves or goggles. Keep the chemicals secured and stored safely away from children and pets.

Grab your scrub brush.

To get the water balance right, you’ll need to keep your pool clean.

As a best practice, brush the pool often using a nylon brush. Particles, leaves, or dirt can get stuck in corners, steps, and other crevices, so make sure they get extra attention. You can also use a pool skimmer to catch leaves or bugs that accumulate on the surface overnight.

After the pool is balanced, you may want to add algaecide. Always check with your manufacturer to make sure it’s compatible with your pool, how much to add, and when it would be safe to swim.

Let the water settle.

Your pool water needs time to run through the system. Allow the pump to run for 1-2 days, and, as you add chemicals through the process, you may need to wait a few days in between to allow for stabilization.

You should also wait until the chemicals settle before using a heater or vacuum. If you don’t wait, it could interfere with the pool’s curing time, which can cause long-term damage. Some experts recommend letting your pool cure for 21 days, but it’s best to check with your manufacturer or local pool expert to determine the most suitable time-frame.

Set your pool care routine.

Once your pool is open and ready for swimming, you need to set a routine to keep it safe. Schedule weekly water test strips and chemical adjustments.

If you’re brand new to pools, testing, and chemicals, technology like the pHin Smart Water Monitor can remove the guesswork of water care. Instead of testing just once a week, pHin gives you a clear picture of your water quality in real-time. The device takes over 1,000 measurements a week (few pool owners can match that by hand!), and sends alerts, reminders, and chemical dose instructions in the app. See what users think of pHin.

When Should I Open My Pool for the Season?

When the temperatures start to rise, we begin longing for days spent poolside in the sunshine. A ripple effect of pool openings starts across the country as we approach the first day of summer with some pool owners wondering, “When should I open my pool for the season?”

Many factors can play into the decision for opening day. The pHin experts share tips for picking the ideal date:

 When Is It Too Early To Open Your Pool?

Each pool owner’s opening date varies depending on where they live. When temperatures are consistently over or around 70 degrees it’s usually the perfect time to start a pool opening. While it might be a little chilly for swimming for those who don’t have heated pools, it’ll leave you time to get ready for warmer days to come. Keep an eye on the weather – consistency is important because you don’t want to experience freezing temperatures a few days after the big opening.

 Along with outdoor temperatures, there are a few other factors to consider:

1.    Algae

With warmer temperatures, your pool can become a breeding ground for algae. To prevent algae buildup that can turn your pool green, opening your pool sooner can get you up and running. This gives you extra time to start cleaning to prevent the algae from growing.

2. Expense and Equipment

Pool openings can add extra expenses. Before you open your pool, consider the costs of additional chemicals, parts, or labor that will be needed. Also, do a check of what you’ll need for the season, including test strips, chemicals, cleaner, etc.

3.     Aesthetic

Pulling the cover off your pool adds beauty to your backyard. It might also be time to have the surrounding deck or patio power-washed, uncover your pool-side lounge chairs, and see if there’s anything you want to add this year, like rock speakers, lighting, new toys, or even a water slide.

4.     Entertainment         

Pools offer endless fun for families to enjoy all season long. After you’ve planned your pool opening date, start planning the first day for fun and games with your family, or a workout right in the backyard!

These pool opening tips should help you keep your pool in top shape all summer long.  The water needs to be balanced and safe for swimming, and technology like pHin can help guide you through the process. Enjoy the pool season!

Smart Water Monitoring Leads Long-Time Pool Owner to Clear Water

Even long-time pool owners can experience the headaches, frustrations, and challenges of balancing the water for safe swimming. Many factors can affect the balance, like a recent rainfall, a pool workout, or even the temperature.

In Southern Rhode Island, pool season starts by Memorial Day. As he was gearing up for the summer, Kevin St. Lawrence began preparing his pool for barbecues, relaxation, and even for the dog to swim in!

An experienced pool owner of eight years, Kevin was stumped when the water was cloudy. “Our pool was always getting cloudy at random times. I wanted to figure out how to solve the water problems in my pool before they became too significant,” said Kevin. “We’ve had our pool for a few years but I’m no expert when it comes to testing the water.”

Kevin was exploring his options online and found the pHin Smart Water Monitor. The device promised to remove the guesswork out of his everyday pool care routine so he wouldn’t have to fuss with interpreting test strips and charts on his own. This was just the tool his family needed to keep their pool water from getting cloudy! pHin has built-in sensors that analyze data collected over 1,000 times a week to provide water charts and chemical dosing recommendations.

After getting his pHin set up, Kevin simply dropped his pHin in the water and connected it to the wireless bridge. It now floats in his pool 24/7, and allows him to check its pH, temperature, and sanitizer levels anytime in the pHin app. When the water needs attention, pHin sends a smartphone alert letting Kevin know exactly what chemicals to add to his pool, and how much of them to add – eliminating the guesswork he’d begrudgingly grown accustomed to!

The easy-to-read charts and color-coded discs made it easy for anyone in the family to understand. “I like the in-app charts because they tell you if your pool is trending in the right direction even if it’s not at the perfect level yet,” he added.

The St. Lawrence family relies on pHin to advise them on whether or not their pool is ready for guests to dive in. “Our family is always entertaining friends and family for pool days,” said Kevin. “It’s been nice to have pHin floating in the pool so I can easily check the water before we’re expecting company to make sure it’s safe for swimming.”

pHin combines the power of technology and analytics to bring families the peace of mind knowing whether their water is safe for swimming or not. This summer, Kevin St. Lawrence and his entire family will be relaxing more and enjoying his crystal clear water, thanks to pHin.