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Why You Should Open Your Pool Early This Year

Breaking From Your Routine

If you’re like most pool owners, you probably have a routine you like to follow when it comes to opening and closing your pool. This isn’t a bad thing, and it is nice to have a set schedule that you can plan around. However, there are certain factors that you should weigh when deciding if sticking with your regular routine is the right thing to do. This season, that factor is WARM WEATHER.sun

Why Is Warmer Weather an Issue?

This past winter has been markedly mild compared to recent years. That, along with the somewhat early onset of sustained warmer weather, can lead to some problems with your pool. If you close or cover your pool for the winter, by this time of year there will be little or no chlorine remaining in the water. Under normal weather patterns, the water temperature would still be cool enough to hold off the growth of algae for several more weeks. However, our warm-up this year means that pool water temperatures will reach the “danger zone” more quickly and a pool with little or no chlorine present could very well become a green nightmare in the blink of an eye. This is especially true for pools that are uncovered or pools with a “mesh” style cover.

Our Recommendationapril-calendar-clip-art

To prevent what could be a major issue, we are recommending that pool owners open their
pool a few weeks early this season. The small additional cost of a few more weeks of treatment is far less than the cost of clearing up an extensive algae growth. Some will make the argument that they want to wait for the pollen to fall before they open their pool. While pollen is a concern and can be a little annoying to clean up, it is a “debris” issue and not a “water chemistry” issue. This means that the key to dealing with pollen is simply removing it from the pool. The removal of pollen can be aided by installing a skimmer sock on your skimmer basket to screen out the pollen before it gets to your pool filter. Using a skimmer sock will speed up the removal process and decrease the number of sand filter backwash cycles you will have to perform.  All of this saves you time and money when dealing with pollen.  If you must choose a battle, choose to battle pollen.  Algae is just too stubborn.

What Do I Do Now?

To start the pool opening process, follow these steps.

  1. Remove pool cover and rake out all leaves and other debris that may be present.
  2. Fill your pool to the proper water level.
  3. Start the pool pump and carefully inspect your equipment for proper leak-free operation.  If you detect any problems with your equipment, call us for advice. Allow the water to filter at least 24 hours before pulling a water sample.spin-lab
  4. Take a water sample.  It’s a good idea to pull the water sample before any shock treatment.  Always get the sample from at least elbow-deep.
  5. Have your pool water tested by our Spin Lab for quick and accurate results.  We will provide you with step-by-step, written instructions on how to get your pool water clean and balanced.

As every pool owner knows, a little preventive maintenance goes a long way with a swimming pool.  Getting started a little early this season could end up being the best thing you do for your pool all year.

6 Gift Ideas For The Last-Minute Shopper

Christmas is drawing near and if you are like some people, you still have a few more gifts to buy before you can put a bow on the 2016 shopping season.  This will help you make those last-minute decisions.

Here are 6 gift ideas that may not have crossed your mind, until now…

Hammocks.  Give the gift of relaxation to someone you care about.  Sure, it may be a few months before they can put it to good use, but that will give downloadthem something to look forward to in anticipation of chillin’ in the spring.  Plus, we can almost guarantee you nobody else will have gotten them one.  Our Pawley’s Island hammocks are durable, stylish, and comfortable.  Many a nap to be had in one of these babies.

 

Outdoor Furniture.  Who doesn’t like sitting around outside enjoying all the beauty that
nature has to offer?  Right…everyone does.  Why not give a gift that will grant a lifetime of this, like breezestaour Breezesta outdoor furniture?  This high-quality, solid high-density polyethylene furniture has a lifetime warranty and is offered in a wide array of styles and colors.

Big Green Egg.  Fire up the grill!  The Big Green Egg is one of the most widely bge1recognized grill anywhere, and for good reason.  It is the most versatile, dependable grill on the market. We have many models on display and all the accessories to go with them.  With all the great food you are sure to enjoy, this is truly the gift that keeps on giving!

 

Pool Cues.  Rack ’em up!  For the billiard enthusiast or the curious beginner, we pool-cueshave the area’s largest selection of billiard cues and accessories.  Starting at around $25, our “house cues” are straight and true.  If you’re a little more selective, we have names like McDermott, Meucci, Players, Joss, Viking, and more.  Come check out our huge selection and give that pool shark in your life a great Christmas surprise!

 

Hot Tubs.  Okay, so a hot tub isn’t something you normally just go out and buy to haveimg_3593
one more thing to stuff in the stocking. However, if you and the spouse still haven’t decided on how to treat yourselves this Christmas, there could be nothing better for your relaxation, your health, and your sanity than having an awesome hot tub sitting on the back deck.  We carry two quality brands, but our Cadillac of hot tubs is our Bullfrog Spas.  This unique hot tub features JetPak Therapy (video link) which allows each user to choose their own seating configuration and jet message…incredible!  Visit our showroom to check out all our models.  You deserve it!

Gift Card.  We’ve given you some pretty special gift ideas with this list, but if you still fullsizerendercan’t make up your mind, there’s always the old stand-by.  A gift card!  Our special mix of products give your loved one the opportunity to get off the beaten retail path and choose a gift that is a little more unique from a locally owned business.  This Christmas get a $50 value gift card for $40 and a $100 value gift card for only $80.  They don’t have to know you saved up to 20% and we won’t tell a soul!

The Buck Stove Pool & Spa family would like to thank all of our loyal customers and those of you who will soon become first-time customers.  We appreciate the opportunity to serve the Greenwood and Laurens communities and look forward to seeing you very soon.  All of us at Buck Stove Pool & Spa wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Visit our web site at www.buckstovepoolandspa.com

Call us in Greenwood (72 By-Pass across from Greenwood Mall) at 864-223-1660.

In Laurens (214 Fleming St.) call us at 864-984-4526.

Gas or Electric Fireplaces: Which is a Better Fit for Your Home?

Nothing adds warmth and atmosphere to a living space like a fireplace. But your home might not be right for a wood stove installation, or you might not want to deal with the maintenance. That’s why Buck Stove Pool & Spa offers gas and electric fireplaces, too.

Gas & electric fireplaces don’t require a traditional chimney, so they can be installed in homes where wood-burning stoves aren’t a feasible option. They also both require less maintenance and cleaning than a wood stove, and they’re much easier to operate. Just turn them on, curl up on the couch, and let the warmth wash over you.

But you might still be wondering which option is right for you.

Gas & electric fireplaces each have their own unique advantages.

Advantages of a gas fireplace:

  • Real fire. When it comes to getting that classic fireplace ambiance, nothing beats the soft glow and cozy warmth of real flames.
  • Will work during a power outage. Your fireplace runs on gas, not electricity, so if the power goes out, it’s an excellent backup heat source.
  • Can add to your home’s resale value. According to a 2013 survey by the National Association of Realtors, around 40% of homebuyers said they would pay more for a house with at least one fireplace.
  • Plenty of style options. You’re sure to find a gas fireplace that works with the décor & design of any room in your home.

Advantages of an electric fireplace:

  • Easy to install. Just put it where you want it and plug it in. It’s that simple.
  • Almost no maintenance necessary. You may need to replace a bulb once in a while, but other than that, you can just relax and enjoy.
  • Versatile. There’s no need for a fuel source or ventilation, so there’s no need to worry about where you put it. If you have an available outlet, you’re good to go.
  • Safe. No flames means no worries about whether you, your kids, your pets, or your possessions will get burned.
  • Want “flames” with no heat? No problem! Sometimes you want fireplace ambiance without heating up your home. An electric fireplace is the only fireplace that gives you that option. Just turn on the display without turning on the heat!

Still have questions? Come to Buck Stove Pool & Spa in Greenwood, SC and we’ll help you pick the fireplace that’s right for you. Even if you’re pretty sure about what you want, stop by anyway! We have many makes and models of gas & electric fireplaces on display in our showroom. Don’t make a final decision without seeing what we have in stock.

When it comes to gas & electric fireplaces, trust the experts at Buck Stove Pool & Spa. You won’t find better prices or service anywhere else. We guarantee it.

Fireplaces Add More Than Heat

With the winter season right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll be heating up your home in the coming months. Whether your home is currently equipped with a heating system or not, many folks still like to enjoy the atmosphere that a fireplace provides. Buck Stove Pool & Spa offers a variety of fireplaces and heaters including wood stoves, gas heaters, gas fireplaces, and electric heaters and fireplaces. Read on to learn how a fireplace can enhance your home!

  1. Warmth – one of the most practical reasons why one would add a fireplace or wood stove to their home, they provide a great amount of heat to a room. Depending on which type you choose, the amount of warmth can vary.
  2. Aesthetics – many people add a fireplace to their homes for additional aesthetic appeal. A wood burning stove can tie into a traditional theme, while the variety of gas fireplaces available make matching a fireplace to any theme, easier than ever.
  3. Energy Efficient – wood stoves and gas fireplaces are a great way to cut down on utility costs during the winter. Putting the furnace on full force on a frequent basis can make the gas bill sky rocket. Heating your home with a fireplace can allow you to keep the furnace at a lower temperature and save on energy and money.
  4. Creative – since a gas fireplace can be added to almost any room in a home, your creative juices are allowed to get flowing.  Add one to the bedroom to create a relaxing oasis, or the living room for a warm ambiance that family and friends can enjoy. No matter what vision you have in mind, a fireplace can most likely accompany it.

As you can see, fireplaces and wood stoves can go much farther beyond than their practical purposes. Browse our selection or speak with one of our experts today to find out which fireplace or stove suits your needs best!

Get In The Hot Tub!

Hot tubs are commonly used to relax, warm up on a chilly night, or spend some time socializing with family or friends. If you are a frequent hot tub user, you may be taking advantage of the host of other benefits that hot tubs provide without even being aware of it! There are a series of very real health benefits which come along with a dip in the tub.

With today’s innovations, it’s really never been simpler to have a high-grade hot tub installed at your very own home. More and more contemporary folks are beginning to realize the advantages of a standard backyard spa.

Take a look at the following section to learn more about the therapeutic effects of a new hot tub. If your body has started to show signs of wear and tear, you may want to pay close attention. There’s no reason you need to deal with creaky bones and aching muscles on a daily basis!

Ease Those Sore Muscles

In some ways, the warmth of your hot tub works similarly to a standard heat pack. Rather than localizing the heat, however, hot tubs offer a more comprehensive form of relief which engulfs the entire body. Warm water does an excellent job of relieving tense muscles, headaches and chronic pain.

Additionally, pressurized water emitted by spa jets will provide an effective pinpoint massage. The floor, seats and walls of a hot tub can often apply direct pressure to tense or painful muscles, producing immediate relief.

Arthritis Relief

Hot tubs also make use of the human body’s neutral buoyancy. Floating around in warm water allows free movement of your joints without the application of any weight or pressure. By removing this presence of stress, your body will be able to move about freely, eliminating the constant pain created by arthritis.

Heightened Blood Flow

The American Heart Association has found that hot tub exposure can lead to the dilation of blood vessels. This action will increase the flow and pressure of blood within your body, distributing higher levels of oxygen and enzymes throughout the system. This increased blood flow aids in the healing process and does an excellent job of relieving aches and pains.

Get Some Rest

After conducting recent studies, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) claimed that “soaking in hot water before retiring to bed can ease the transition into deeper sleep.” Have no doubt about it; when it comes to sleep, the NSF knows what they’re talking about. Whether you’re attempting to quell arthritis pains or gain a more peaceful rest, it may be time you started to explore the hot tubs offered by Buck Stove Pool & Spa in Greenwood, SC!

Top Swimming Pool Trends in 2014

Swimming pool designs have come a long way since their basic beginnings. For many people, a swimming pool is much more than a place to cool off in hot temperatures. It can be as much as the main focal point and gathering spot in a home’s backyard. The fun part of installing a swimming pool is your ability to make it as simple, outlandish or extravagant as you’d like! Get inspired and learn about some of the latest trends that swimming pools have taken on this year.

  1. Infinity Pools – a popular choice for homes with an ocean or lake view, infinity pools create an illusion that the pool seamlessly flows into the distant body of water.
  2. Geometric Shaped Pools – rectangular or square pools offer a contemporary aesthetic to a home’s backyard, and have become increasing popular in the last year. They are especially great for fitting into smaller backyards.
  3. Glass Tile – taking over ceramic and porcelain tiles this year are the stronger and more durable glass tiles. They endure chlorine and other chemicals found in pools better than the traditional options, and are less likely to crack or break. Not to mention, their iridescent tones reflect beautifully off of the pool water.
  4. Multilevel Pools – as the name states, these pools feature multiple levels, sometimes with stairs leading from one level to the next, or waterfalls flowing down from top levels to those below. These pools allow swimmers to enjoy a view from several different heights and perspectives.
  5. Fitness Pools – with many people making fitness a higher priority in their lives in recent years, exercise, or lap pools have become in higher demand. These pools come in many varieties, such as a long length to make swimming laps easy, or a resistance jet at one end which allows you swim without actually moving.

With these new swimming pool trends and many other customization options available, you can make your pool fit your personal needs and tastes now more than ever. Whether you want to create your own outdoor oasis, a convenient way to exercise, or just a place to splash around and have some summer fun, these pool trends can accommodate!

Getting your Swimming Pool Ready for Summer

Summer is just around the corner in Greenwood, SC, and residents everywhere will soon be removing their swimming pool covers to find out how much preparation is necessary to get it up to snuff for a season of soaking up the sun.  Below are some things to take into consideration when opening your pool to ensure that it is kept in its healthiest and safest condition.

  1. Avoid emptying your pool. Unless your swimming pool requires repair work after the winter months, or you didn’t cover it at all and it needs to be drained in order to clean it, try to avoid emptying the pool water at all costs. Emptying the water can cause more harm than good, and even lift a pool out of the ground if the conditions are right.
  2. Perform a “chemical open.” This process can be done with the pool cover left on, and involves assembling your filtration system, cleaning out the baskets and removing any plugs that you may have put in when shutting your pool down for the winter.
  3. Have your water tested by a professional. Taking a sample of your pool water to a professional ensures that the mineral content, pH and chlorine levels are all up to par. If something seems a little off, they will be able to tell you exactly what it is and by how much.
  4.  Check the clarity of the water. Although you might be anxious to dive in as soon as you open your pool, it’s important to clean the filter every day until the water is clear before doing so. The pool cover should be left on until it’s clear enough to see the bottom – chlorine can be added to achieve the right level of clarity.
  5. Clean it up. Throughout the winter, leaves and debris will have made their way into your pool. Once you remove the cover, all of this will need to be vacuumed and cleaned out.

After completing these five easy steps, your pool should be ready for enjoyment all season long. Keep up on maintenance throughout the summer by performing filter cleaning, weekly vacuuming and daily testing of chemical levels. If you find anything unusual when you remove your cover, or are in need of a larger project such as swimming pool repair, the professionals at Buck Stove Pool and Spa are always available to assist.

Chlorine Pools vs. Saltwater Pools

Pool owners are constantly debating the merits of both salt water pools and chlorine pools. Each side boasts a large number of reputable proponents as well as an array of distinct advantages. In many instances, this particular argument really comes down to a matter of personal preference; though, this factor doesn’t stop opposing pool owners from jawing at each other.

While there may be no clear-cut winner in this debate, it may still prove advantageous to describe some of the benefits of chlorine-based treatments as well as salt water pools. Browse the following couple of sections, and get a feel for which sort of pool chemicals might best suit your needs.

Chlorine is the way to go!

When pool owners decide to go the chlorine route, they ensure the fact that they’ll promptly be able to clear all bacteria from their system. A properly chlorinated pool will only take one or two days to eradicate the threat of harmful bacteria, while a saltwater system can take up to five days. This length of time generally depends on the severity of initial pH levels.

Chlorine pools are additionally easy to operate, and won’t have too damaging of an impact on your bank account either. In order to balance the pH levels of a chlorine based water supply, you simply have to introduce a few tablets to the system every once in a while. This will generally only cost you about 50 or 60 bucks a month, depending on the actual size of your swimming hole.

Salt Water all the way!

Not to be outdone, saltwater pools additionally offer many distinct advantages to pool owners. For instance, chemical levels are decidedly lower throughout all salt water systems. This will render your pool water far safer for your family members, and eliminate all the elements which might harm you skin or sting your eyes. Saltwater pools will also do away with the threat of faded swimsuits and fried-out hair.

While saltwater systems do initially cost more to implement, they’ll start to actually save you money in the long run. They also require less upkeep than Chlorine-based systems as well.

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So there you have it. Which camp do you fall into? There will come a time that you’ll inevitably have to either join up with either Team Salt Water or Team Chlorine. We hope the information in this article helps you feel prepared when that faithful day arrives.

Gas Fireplace Maintenance Tips

You already know that fireplaces that utilize gas logs require much less cleaning and upkeep than those that use wood. In fact, it was probably one of the main reasons why you chose to have a gas fireplace installed in your home instead of one of the many other fireplaces and wood stoves on the market. The maintenance tips we will discuss are not extremely time consuming and can greatly benefit the longevity of your gas fireplace.

Before you begin any cleaning or maintenance on your gas fireplace, make sure that the gas valve is turned off. This will ensure your safety during the process.

Just like your car, getting a routine inspection of your gas fireplace by a professional is recommended to ensure that the fireplace is working properly and is in good condition.

Clean the glass on your gas fireplace regularly (every 1-2 months). Not only does this preserve the aesthetic appeal of the fireplace, but it also prevents build-up from occurring that could potentially lead to larger issues. Make sure that you use a cleaner that is safe for fireplaces.

During the warmest months of the year when you are not using your fireplace, turn the pilot light off. This helps the gas fireplace work most efficiently when you do need to use it.

Check your ventilation system to make sure there is nothing blocking or clogging it. If you do find any abnormalities, contact a professional to remedy the issue.

There you have it – all of the tips you need to maintain a healthy gas fireplace! Have a wood-burning fireplace? The professionals at Buck Stove, Pool and Spa have tips for you too.

Wood Stove or Gas Fireplace: Which is the better fit for your home?

It’s a cold winter night in South Carolina – do you envision yourself curled up on the couch in front of a crackling fire that you just built moments before, enjoying a sense of the great outdoors in the comfort of your own home? Or do you sit down and flick on the fireplace with the push of a button? With so many options of wood stoves and gas fireplaces on the market today, many people are torn as to which would be the best fit for their home. Buck Stove Pool & Spa is here to help you make the right decision.

Wood stoves have a certain authenticity to them – the calming sound, the smell of the burning wood, and their traditional look. A wood stove can make any room in your home feel warm and cozy – due to its heating efficiency and its cabin aesthetic. If you have a more modern theme throughout your home, a gas fireplace may be a better option because you can choose a style that suits the room perfectly – surrounded by bricks or by wood.

In terms of cost, fireplaces that utilize gas logs tend to be more inexpensive. Installing a wood stove into your existing home may be a little more complicated compared to gas fireplace installation. If you are in the situation where you could make larger adjustments to your home, or are building a new home, a wood stove may be a great option to go with. If you are looking for a quick and easy process, though, the gas fireplace may be the better solution for you.

Finally, the amount of time you are interested in spending caring for your fireplace may be another aspect to consider. While some people enjoy building a fire from scratch and maintaining it, others will want minimal effort involved in heating their home. Wood stoves do require some cleaning and maintenance as you will be dealing with real fire wood rather than gas logs, but for the fireplace connoisseur, this would be more of a pleasure than a chore. Gas fireplaces on the other hand require very little cleaning and maintenance beyond the fireplace installation, perfect for those who simply want to take advantage of its heating ability and visual appeal.

Hopefully this article will help you weigh your options when you are deciding between a wood stove and a gas fireplace. For further assistance with your fireplace shopping, contact Buck Stove Pool & Spa.