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Why a Swimming Pool Cover is a Great Idea

August 2nd, 2013

If you are a pool owner you may have contemplated the importance of a pool cover. You may have wondered if the hassle of remembering to drag a pool cover out every time you are finished using the pool is worth it. Perhaps you are worried about how a cover will affect your pool and if it is really helpful. Well, if you are asking the question of whether or not you should cover your swimming pool this season then consider the proactive benefits and dangers that are avoided through the use of a pool cover. Whether you are a current pool owner or are endeavoring to become one you may want to examine these important points:

  • Pool covers can save time, energy, and money! – The annoying debris that can easily fall into a pool with no cover can quickly produce maintenance issues. When your pool is covered you will find your maintenance costs will greatly decrease. Also, when your pool is consistently open to nature around it, you will find yourself wasting much time clearing the water of bugs, leaves and other particles, when a cover would have simply prevented this issue.

  • Pool covers save lives!- With a quality pool cover you can eliminate the fears of your kids or the neighbor’s kids venturing outdoors and accidentally falling into a pool on your property. This sadly happens each year and many fatalities have occurred. With a pool cover, no matter if a child or pet aimlessly wanders near the pool, the cover will be strong enough to hold them up and they can easily find their way back to ground.

  • Pool covers have green qualities- Pool covers prevent evaporation and help maintain a desired pool temperature. These covers can also dramatically reduce the breeding of bacteria and subsequently fewer chemicals are required to control bacteria growth. Additionally, solar pool covers can act as a heater as they draw in the sun’s warmth to heat the pool and can cut down on energy costs.

There are many pool cover options for your pool, including: winter pool covers, basic pool covers, solar pool covers, and safety pool covers, a popular choice among many people. If you live in the Tampa Bay area or elsewhere in Florida you may find a solar cover extremely helpful in maintaining the heat in your pool, especially when the mornings begin to have a crisp feeling in the air and the evenings become a little cooler. Additionally, a winter pool cover can help prevent the havoc that the winter season can cause to pools. Your investment in a pool cover or in multiple pool covers will save you time, energy, stress, and will bring you peace of mind. Stop worrying about your pool this season and just enjoy it! If you have any questions about pool repair, winter preparation for your pool, or what kind of swimming pool cover would best fit your needs and pool type, feel free to contact the pool experts at The Pool Doctor for more information! The Pool Doctor’s professionals have been providing great services to the communities in the greater Tampa Bay area for many years. Contact us today at (727) 546-2400!

5 Easy Pool Maintenance Tips

August 2nd, 2013

Your swimming pool is a fun, refreshing oasis for you and your family to enjoy, a source of welcome relief from the blazing summer heat. But without regular system maintenance, your pool might quickly become a murky burden.

The following 5 easy maintenance tips will help you to ensure that your oasis stays clean and inviting all season long.

  1. Filtration — Monitoring and maintaining your filters is essential for the health and clarity of your pool. The more your water is filtered, the better the distribution of essential chemicals throughout the pool. Running your filters between 8 and 12 hours a day will also help to capture leaves and other debris. It’s also important to inspect your baskets regularly for cracks and replace them whenever necessary.
  2. Pressure Gauging — While the ideal pressure (psi) of every pool varies, it is important to monitor this indicator on a regular basis and backwash your filters whenever necessary. Generally, if you notice a rise from a starting pressure of 5-10 psi when you turn on your filtration system, then you will need to backwash your filters for optimal performance.
  3. Sanitization — Stabilized chlorine should be used to ensure 24-hour sanitizing. Chlorinators are an excellent way to introduce chlorine in a regular, controlled manner. Salt generators are another great way to add chlorine in a sure and regulated manner. While adding chlorine through skimmers may seem convenient, it is not recommended since this method creates uneven chemical distribution levels.
  4. Brushing — A regular brushing schedule prevents the build up of algae and sedimentary debris around the walls and edges of your pool. Weekly vacuuming of the pool floor will also help control buildups.
  5. Shock Treatments — A shock treatment or super chlorination should be performed every two weeks during the summer to burn off swimming waste and other undesirable compounds from pool water. The type of shock required is generally determined by water condition and clarity.

For more helpful pool maintenance tips or complimentary water testing, give The Pool Doctor a call today at (727)546-2400! Or submit a question using our contact form. Thanks!

When it Rains Cats & Dogs

August 2nd, 2013

It was raining cats and dogs all week – is there a cat in your pool? After one of our infamous Tampa Bay rainstorms, it’s important to immediately remove all debris, as well as check your chemical levels. Here are some things to consider before jumping back in the pool today:

First, grab your skimmer to begin cleaning out the large debris, such as branches, leaves, and garbage. If there is just a small amount of debris left on the bottom of the pool, use your own pool vacuum system to take care of it, otherwise, contact The Pool Doctor to have it professionally power vacuumed to ensure debris doesn’t get stuck in the pipes or wear out your filter. While we are there, we will also check your water level to make sure it’s at an appropriate level.

In addition to debris, a significant rainstorm can bring with it contaminates, which can lower the alkalinity levels or cause a pH rise. Adjust these levels using pH Plus, pH Minus, and Alkalinity Plus. This can be intimidating if you’ve never done this before – just make sure to carefully follow the directions on the chemicals or have The Pool Doctor come to adjust your chemical levels. Our experts are certified licensed professionals and will restore your pool back to perfect swimming health.


If you haven’t shocked your pool in a while, this would be a good time to do it to clear any bacteria or algae that may have already been accumulating. Shock is available in both liquid and powder forms, but liquid typically works quicker.

However, if the storm left you with more than just a few leaves, or you still haven’t cleaned up your pool for the summer, let The Pool Doctor take it from this:

To this:

Now all you will have to do is remember where you put your sunscreen!

Pool Problem Troubleshooting Guide

August 2nd, 2013

You love your swimming pool – and so do we. At The Pool Doctor, we specialize in troubleshooting and repairing your inground pool, but how do you know if your pool needs service or repair?

Here are a few of the most common swimming pool problems and suggestions on how to troubleshoot them:



Do It Yourself:

– Check the baskets and empty them if needed.

– Check the water level and add water if it’s low.


Call Us For Service:

– Weir blade in skimmer could be stuck in the “up” position and needs to be replaced.

– There could be an air leak on suction side of the pump.



Do It Yourself:

– The pressure side of plumbing could be closed and you should check the valves for proper settings.


Call Us For Service:

– Bearings in the motor could be going out.

– The pump impeller could be clogged.



Do It Yourself:

– Check your circuit breaker.

– Check your GFCI outlet and reset if needed.


Call Us For Service:

– If the light is tied into a computer system, the power relay may need to be replaced.




Do It Yourself:

– Remove, clean and reseat the O-ring.

– Secure the pump lid


Call Us For Service:

– It could be a leak at the plumbing that needs to be repaired.



Do It Yourself:

– Tighten or replace Air Relief Valve.


Call Us For Service:

– The O-ring may be damaged and needs to be replaced.

– The plumbing has a leak and needs to be repaired.



Call us for repair service today and see why The Pool Doctor provides the best swimming pool service in the greater Tampa Bay area. Call Today! (727) 546-2400

Adding Beauty to Your Pool

August 2nd, 2013

Just imagine. You are relaxing on a pool-side chair enjoying every bit of the soothing effect that the pool has on you; the fragrance of flowers massaging your senses on a hot sunny day. Is this all that you want? Is that the end of what you expect your pool to be like?

Beauty to Your Swimming Pool Renovation Adding Beauty to Your Pool
Not just by day, but you can also make your pool look beautiful at night with sparkling lights, eye catching water features and more. Here are some helpful tips to make your pool look beautiful:

Water Features:- A beautiful fountain in the center of the pool can give a royal look or you can also opt for a gurgling waterfall that flows through an artificial rock – formation. This would not only add a wonderful look to your pool but the sound of flowing water will have a soothing effect on your senses. If you are looking for something that would add life to your poolside party, deck jets would do the trick. Deck jets can add life to your party especially with color changing lights (think of how it would look at night). You can also add some other water features like a Koi Pond by the pool with colourful fish swimming in it. A Container water plant is yet another option that would add a touch of plant life to your pool.

Lighting: Lights can make your pool look beautiful. However, there are certain things that you should remember while adding lighting to your pool:

  1. Don’t add too many lights in the pool as it can make your pool look very loud.
  2. Make sure you put up the lights in the deep end and not in the shallow end as it will give a better effect.
  3. Lighting design should include standard electrical outlet lighting and also low-voltage lighting.
  4. You should cut down on heavy shadows using a proper lighting design.

Pool Ornaments: You can even decorate your pool with different kinds of Pool ornaments like statues, bird feeders, fancy floats, Hot Tub pillows, floating waterproof LED balls, floating pond decorations, Floating Flowers LED.

Pool Furniture: A dip in the pool can be relaxing and tiring at the same time. It is then, necessary to have some furniture to slump on after a swim.
It is very important to select the right kind of pool-side furniture which can complement the swimming pool and the house. There are many options you can go for like a Hammock – just tie it between two trees and slump in it with your favorite book or simply close your eyes and relax. There are hammocks available for all seasons. You can even go for an Adirondack chair which is quite comfortable and resistant to water and humidity. Or an outdoor sectional that works perfect for a family get-together or a party.

Pool makeover: If you are ready to spend some extra buck, then you could perhaps, change the look of your pool, selecting a variety that is different and gives a rich look. You could try covering a pool’s bottom and walls with tiles, you could create fascinating patterns. You could enrich the bottom by a very big turtle, oriental ornaments and by using others original pictures. Images with cartoon characters ideally fit for kids swimming pools. Or just put glass tiles in orange, yellow and blood red at the bottom of your pool, as it gets its startling color from a base of mosaic.
So enjoy modifying your pool and see eyes pop out with fascination when your friends see your pool!

Pool Renovation Tips

July 9th, 2013

Whether you plan to restore, refinish, or remodel, your pool improvement project may require the services of a specialized renovation pool contractor. A renovation pool contractor understands, and has experience working with a wide variety of existing pool conditions, equipment, and materials. Some key points are as follows:

  • A pool renovation contractor is different from a pool builder.
  • A pool renovation contractor specializes in existing pools.
  • A pool builder specializes in building new pools.

Though both types of pool contractors may well be talented and highly respected, the basic thought processes and skills of builders versus renovation contractors is vastly different. Your project may cost thousands of dollars, so choosing a qualified, experienced, skilled renovation pool contractor is very important.

Ask questions of your friends, relatives, co-workers and local building inspectors. Your research should include what has to be done, the best ways to do the work and the types of materials that may be used and their cost.

It is usually a good idea to ask at least two or three contractors to estimate the costs of your project. This is normally a free service and it helps you to prepare a final contract. Make sure that the proposals clearly detail in writing the full scope of the work, the types of the materials that will be used, and the total cost of the project and cost of various options you may be considering. Make sure any additional costs are clearly stated such as any required drawings, permits, and taxes.

Normally, the costs of a project are set at a fixed price. In a fixed price, the contractor promises to do the work specified at a certain cost. If you decide to make any changes once the job begins, these changes should also be prepared in writing—the same as the original agreement—and agreed to with the contractor separately. If you are borrowing money for the job, it is a good idea to discuss the proposal costs with the bank or lender.

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Fraud is a growing problem. Here are some things to look out for:

  • A contractor claiming “We’ve just done a job nearby and have some material left over, so we can do the job for half the price.”
  • A post office address with no street address or a business address located in a residential area. This may not be a true business location (even a street address should be checked), or a phone number that is just an answering service. If you need to get the contractor back after the job is done, will you be able to find them?
  • High pressure sales tactics
  • No website
  • Refusal to give you a complete detailed written estimate or their contractor’s license number
  • Request a current certificate of insurance from the contractor for workers’ compensation and general liability coverage
  • Refusal to furnish these documents may indicate the contractor does not have the coverage required by law and you may be liable for hospital charges, medical claims and inability to work financial claims made by workers injured on your property
  • Check recent jobs, customers and local references of the contractor

Once you have agreed on a price with a contractor, get it all in writing. An agreement should be written and explicit in every detail. It should include:

  1. Specifications – A detailed description of all the work to be performed. Pool coatings should be an average ½” thick. Low price is often a signal that corners are being cut to lower the price. Some only provide a skim coat of ¼” or less and proper preparation is often short cut. Short time warranties often are a signal of this.
  2. Finishes/Materials – A list of the materials to be used which defines textures, brands, colors, sizes, and models.
  3. Price – The total dollar amount of the contract, labor and material.
  4. Tax, Permit, Miscellaneous Costs – Are these included in the total job cost?
  5. Payment Schedule – Modest deposit with payments due as materials are ordered and based on the work progress.
  6. Caution – Be very cautious about a contractor who demands a large payment up front (50 percent or more) before work is started.
  7. Professional/Licensed Contractors – Are accustomed to modest good faith deposits, with payment schedules based on work progress, and final payment when the work is completed and the job site is given a final clean up.
  8. Document – Write into the agreement any side promises made by the salesperson/contractor. Small things not included may not get done and cause you a lot of stress at the end of the job.
  9. County Permits – Never apply for a building permit for the contractor. The contractor that asks you to do so is hiding something. The contractor may not have the proper insurance or license.
  10. Permit Posting – When a building permit is required, it must be posted on the property before work begins.
  11. Notice of Commencement – Must also be posted on the property before the work begins. This is required only when a permit is required.
  12. Job Schedule – The planned start work and estimated completion dates should be included.
  13. Warranty – Does it include labor, parts, materials, and equipment and for what time period.
  14. Cleanup – This item is often neglected, but it should be considered especially if a good deal of debris will be generated. This service often costs $500 to $1,000 or more depending on the job.