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Swimtown is growing at a record pace, and we need your help to make sure we continue to provide our customers with great products and service. In fact your feedback is so important, we’ll give you a chance to win something for your feedback. How do you get rewarded? It’s easy. Just head to www.swimtownpools.com, log in (that part is critical so we know who you are), navigate to the product(s) you purchased and write a review of the product. Good or bad, every legitimate* product review you write will count as an entry. So please tell us what you thought of the product you ordered and we’ll enter you for a chance to win!

The winner will be chosen in a random drawing on Friday, February 1st and notified by email. So make sure you add your review by then!

Fine Print

  • We retain the right to disqualify entrants for any behavior we deem to be misleading, fraudulent, offensive, or in violation of contest rules.
  • This is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Amazon.com
  • Obviously fake reviews and reviews with no detail or value will be ignored

Thank you for your help, and good luck!

Know something about pools or spas? Interested in sharing your knowledge with the world? Well here’s your chance!

We’re looking for writers who want to guest blog or become a regular contributor to the Swimtown Pools blog. Do you have what it takes? Here is what we’re looking for:

  • Literally anything related to pools and spas will be considered – just make it worth reading!
  • 400+ words
  • No more than 1-2 self serving links in the article. Feel free to link out to other relevant resources in your post, but let’s not get spammy. We prefer them in the author byline if possible.
  • We’re only interested in unique content here as well. So please don’t provide us an article you’ve posted elsewhere.

If you’re interested send your submission as a Microsoft Word attachment to mandy (at) poolsuppliesblog.com and we’ll review it. If you have images, please send them as attachments in your email as well.

Some other things to consider:

  • We may add links from time to time where we deem them appropriate.
  • If your post doesn’t have an image, we may add one at our discretion.
  • We have the right to edit the article for grammar and make appropriate changes in moderation to make the post more relevant to the website.

Thanks very much for your interest, and we look forward to reading your submissions!

If you haven’t had a chance to head over to the main Swimtown Pools website lately, you may have missed our recent addition of Heatwave Infrared Saunas (available at http://www.swimtownpools.com/heatwave-saunas-s/1557.htm) to our product listings. Many people enjoy a quick trip to the sauna while at the gym or spa, but have never thought about adding one in the comfort of their own home. These affordable saunas start at under $1,000 and offer a myriad of health benefits. Let’s run them down:

  • Short term weight loss. While it’s not real weight loss, if you have a hot date and want to fit into an outfit a little easier, the sauna can help you shed a bit of water weight in the short term.
  • Long term weight loss. No, a sauna isn’t necessarily a direct hit for weight loss, but it can ratchet up your metabolism, which always helps. Additionally, all that sweating will help reduce toxins in your system and help your body run more efficiently and aid in your weight loss efforts.
  • Stress relief. The world continues to get louder, more crowded and move faster. This is the number one health benefit cited in most studies of sauna users. Between the warmth and the quiet, few things relieve stress like a sauna.
  • Disease reduction. Sound crazy? Well, consider the fact that the majority of diseases are stress related.
  • Pain reduction. Sauna heat will increase the dilation of your blood vessels and increase circulation which in turn aids the healing process.
  • Improved sleep. Jacking up your body temperature in the evening will typically lead to a drop later at night and allow you to get a deep sleep. Studies back up the restful sleep gained by regular sauna use.

Sound intriguing? Take a look, one person models start as low as $837.95 at www.swimtownpools.com.

Image representing eBay as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

You’re used to shopping for your pool supplies on our website, but now we’re giving you a new way to shop – on Ebay.

Up for some auctioning?

Check out Swimtown Pool Supplies on Ebay

A dog dressed up as a deep sea diver

According to Newsweek, this year Americans will spend close to $2 billion on Halloween costumes. If that seems frightening, the idea of a homemade costume might float your boat. Better yet, how does winning a $50 Swimtown gift card for getting crafty sound?  This year, we’re challenging you to make the most unique aquatic themed Halloween costume you can think of. As long as your costume is water related, anything goes. Make us laugh. Make us gush. Shock us. Make your costume so good, it’s scary. Stand out among the countless witches, zombies and vampires this Halloween and share your love of all things aquatic. We can’t wait to see how far overboard you go! For some examples, check out our list of costume ideas.

How to Enter

  • Like Swimtown Pools on Facebook: Facebook/SwimtownPools and follow us on Twitter: @SwimtownPools.
  • Submit a picture of your aquatic theme Halloween costume to contests@swimtownpools.com with a photo caption, your name, and the city and state you’re from.
  • Individuals may submit up to three different costume photos.

Prize

  • The winner will receive a $50 Swimtown gift card good toward any purchase at Swimtownpools.com.
  • Prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash.

Participants Must:

  • Be 13 years of age or older
  • Be a legal U.S. citizen
  • Enter before November 5th, 2012 at 11:00pm Eastern Standard Time
  • Adhere to all rules regarding entry process

Winner Selection

  • The winner will be selected by a panel of marketing professionals at SwimtownPools.com. Costumes must represent the aquatic theme and will be judged based on creativity and originality.
  • Entries must be appropriate for all ages. We maintain the right to disqualify entries we deem inappropriate.
  • The winner will be announced on Wednesday, November 7th, 2012.

Fine Print

  • We retain the right to disqualify entrants for any behavior we deem to be misleading, fraudulent, offensive, or in violation of contest rules.
  • This is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter.
  • By entering, participants are providing information to Swimtownpools.com and not to Facebook.
  • By submitting an entry, participants are releasing the rights to their entries to be used for advertising purposes, on Swimtownpools.com social media outlets, and the Swimtownpools.com website.
  • For questions regarding this promotion, please submit queries to contests@swimtownpools.com and they will be responded to in a timely manner.

If you can’t get enough of Halloween contests and have a dog or horse to count in on the fun, don’t miss out on the 2012 Pet Halloween Costume Photo Contest run by our friends at Silver Lining Herbs!

It’s that time of year again when regardless of who you’re talking with, “What are you going to be for Halloween?” is likely to come up in conversation. For some, the answer is obvious— they’ve known since the day after Halloween last year. For others, the answer is a mystery until an hour before leaving to trick or treat. If you’re sending out a costume S.O.S., we’re here to help. Why not consider a costume that reflects your love of all things aquatic? While mermaids, sailors, divers, and surfers are often go-to favorites, below are several unconventional water-themed costume ideas that will make a splash!

Coral reef– This is a great costume to make entirely your own. After all, no reefs are exactly the same! Find a flowy green skirt or bright, tropical-color pants, and a blue sweatshirt you don’t mind attaching things to. Paint several pieces of Styrofoam tropical colors and cut them to resemble the shape of coral. If you’re feeling especially artistic, use markers to make them more life-like by adding details. If you’ll be in the presence of black lights, use neon glow-in-the-dark paint. Use glue to attach the coral shapes to the bottom and middle of the sweatshirt. Buy large sponges or starfish and attach them with glue or pins. Make small, tropical fish and other coral reef creatures using felt, pipe-cleaners or similar materials from your local craft store. Use spray glue to give the top part of the sweatshirt a shimmering water look, and don’t forget to wear colorful makeup!

Girl wearing jellyfish costume, holding glowing umbrella

Jellyfish– You’ll light up the night with this costume! Find a clear dome-shaped umbrella. Spray paint the inside of the umbrella blue or pink to create a jellyfish-like tint. Attach several sheets of bubble wrap to the top and inside of the umbrella to make an opaque body. Create tentacles by cutting bubble wrap strips in different lengths and secure them to the inside edges of the umbrella. Wear white clothes. Cut holes for your arms and head in large, clear plastic garbage bag and put it on overtop. The day of your Halloween festivities, attach glow sticks to the inside edge of the umbrella. From a distance, the umbrella’s luminescent glow will appear to float through the dark at night.

Sunburnt lifeguard– This silly costume will have people laughing off the deep end. Wear red tights or a red body suit. Throw a lifeguard-style swimsuit on over your red clothing. Paint your face, neck, and any other visible part of your skin red. Leave the part of your face that would have been covered by sunglasses white to enhance the effect. Wear a whistle around your neck. Carry a bottle of aloe with you, and be sure to pretend you’re in pain when anyone touches your “skin.”

Girl wearing homemade rainbow fish costume

Rainbow Fish– Ever read The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister? This costume will help you make friends regardless of where you end up on Halloween. Find a solid navy t-shirt or dress you do not mind attaching things to, and blue leggings or tights. Cut scales out of rainbow colored felt. Make sure you have enough scales to cover the t-shirt or dress you will be wearing. Cut out several scales from a silver, shiny fabric as well. Iron or glue the rainbow scales onto the t-shirt or dress in overlapping lines, starting at the bottom, to resemble the outside texture of a fish. Mix the shiny scales in randomly with the rainbow scales, in a detachable way with pins. Unpin your shiny scales and give them away to friends throughout the night to bring the book’s message of sharing to life.

Shrimp on the Barbie– Looking for a clever costume that shows off how witty you are? This play on words is shrimply the best. Dress in an outfit resembling any classic Barbie doll, wearing copious amounts of pink, frill, and heels. Doll yourself up with makeup to look “plastic and fantastic,” and buy a platinum blonde wig or style your hair in a similar fashion. Attach fake plastic shrimp to the costume using Velcro, a hot glue gun, or safety pins and voila! You’ll be the first Barbie ever that’s attractive and intelligent.

Kid making fishy face wearing aquarium costume and octopus hat

An aquarium- This costume is sure to go over swimmingly for kids and kids at heart. Find a sturdy cardboard box that looks appropriately sized for your upper body. Cut the front of the box leaving a narrow rim around the edges. Cut holes on each side for your arms, one for your head, and a larger one on the bottom for your torso. The cardboard box should be able to rest on your shoulders. Use black electric tape or paint to outline the edges of the aquarium. Paint the inside of the cardboard box light blue. Glue a variety objects in the front part of the cardboard box including rocks, fish stickers, seashells, fake plants, starfish, and whatever else you can find to create an underwater tank scene. Attach battery operated lights to the top inside of the box. Cover the front hole with clear or blue plastic wrap. Wear a blue top and black pants underneath to complete the look.

Finally, if you’re looking for a costume that requires virtually no time or effort, why not simply go as a pool noodle? For the cost it truly cannot be beat, and we’re almost positive you’ll be one-of-a-kind regardless of the costume parties you attend. Have a different aquatic themed costume idea? Share it with us on our Facebook page; we would love to “sea” it!

English: President George H. W. Bush signs the...

English: President George H. W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 into law.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you own a business with a pool or work at a facility with a pool it’s most likely you’ve learned about the ADA pool accessibility regulations that need to be complied with By January 31, 2013. If not, well, you better take note, as the penalty for failing to meet these regulations could land you a whopping $55,000 fine. Needless to say, that might be a tough start to 2013 that you don’t want to have to deal with.

Assuming you’ve got plans to buy an ADA compliant pool lift, the other thing you’re going to need to figure out is who’s going to install it.

We’ve fielded thousands of phone calls on this issue, and one thing we keep hearing is that it’s difficult to find an installer for a pool lift. So, being the good Samaritans that we are, we’ve come up with a solution – The Pool Lift Installer Directory.

We’ll be reaching out to companies in the coming weeks to be listed, but in the meantime, if you yourself are an installer or know someone who is, please add them to our directory.

Thanks for your help!

English: Automatic Pool Cover.

Cover the pool! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’ve owned your pool for a few years, you may have just gotten through the winter using an inexpensive winter pool cover (view our selection here) to keep debris out of the pool through the offseason. While we certainly appreciate a good winter cover (we sell them after all), there are some very good reasons to make the jump to a full blown pool safety cover (our selection can be found at  http://www.swimtownpools.com/pool-safety-covers-s/293.htm). So if you’ve considered getting one, let’s run down a short list of some of the better reasons to get yourself a safety cover. View full article »

aquabot t2 turbo

Your next pool cleaner?

The Aquabot T2 Turbo is an incredibly popular product these days, and for those of you who have decided to take the plunge into the world of automatic pool cleaners (or for those of you who are just looking for something new), we figured we’d assemble a bunch of information for you (unbiased…seriously) so you can get a better feel for the product without having to go to 4,000 different sites to separate fact from fiction. So our crack research team has pulled together the following just for you!

From the Amazon (the website, not the rainforested area of South America)

For fear of infuriating the folks at Amazon, we’ll just throw down some general observations from the reviews there:
  • 3.6 out of 5 stars (after 28 reviews)
  • Most often cited pros:
    • Does a very good job cleaning. Probably a good thing since it is, y’know, a pool cleaner.
    • Quiet.
    • Light.
    • Solid construction.
  • Most often cited cons:
    • Maintenance. Changing and cleaning the filter seemed to be problematic for some users.
    • Confusing manual.
Additional Reviews
  • This review goes in depth about the functionality of the Aquabot Turbo T2. In particular the need to alternate the cleaning pattern from clockwise to counter clockwise (something that didn’t sit well with some Amazon reviewers either). But also says the cleaner does a great job climbing the walls and again, that it does an excellent job of cleaning the pool since it filters items down to 2 microns. Once again, though, some mild complaints about cleaning the filter, though the review is for the most part very positive.
  • The reviews at In The Swim tell an even more divided love/hate story with multiple one star and five star reviews. There people complain about poor construction, parts wearing out and outdated support manuals and materials. At the same time the five star reviews trumpet the incredible cleaning power and say it’s substantially better than the very popular Kreepy Krauly.
 Video of T2 In Action

Sometimes when I talk to people with above ground pools, particularly newer owners, they don’t realize the amount of goodies that are available to them. Above ground pool owners, you are not second class citizens! One such item that pertains here as well is that of pool heaters. Many aowners don’t even think about pool heaters for above ground pools (buy them here) as they think it’s likely not an option.

In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!”

As a matter of fact, there are multiple options for heating an above ground pool to help you extend the pool season into the Fall, or perhaps get you out into your pool a bit earlier next year. Either way, let’s run down some of your options lest you think we’re just blowing smoke here!

The first item you may want to consider is the Sun Heater Solar Heating System (we have them here). This heater comes with a four foot by twenty foot heating panel that pumps heat into your pool. This can be very cost effective as well, as this won’t touch your heating bill. Nice, eh?

little solar pool heater for above ground poolsToo big of a system for your tiny above ground pool? WELLLLLLLL…why not try the half sized version of it? Yep, you can get the two by twenty version as well and you can mount these things anywhere – on your roof, on an old car in your yard, on the back of a horse statue – whatever you’d like. The important thing is that it’ll warm up your pool. Click on the image to the right to learn more about this tiny dynamo. Right now it’s available at Swimtown Pools for only $129.99. So what are you waiting for? Winter?