Choosing Saltwater or Chlorine for Your Custom Built Pool

Congratulations on getting a custom built pool! Now it’s time to choose which type of pool system you want to be installed, saltwater or chlorinated. Here is a list of pros and cons for each type, but regardless of which way you go, you’ll be joyfully swimming in your own backyard in no time.

Custom Pool – Saltwater

For comparison, a saltwater pool contains 10 times less salt than the ocean. It’s so low, that you can’t taste or smell the salt in your pool.


  • There are no health risks.
  • Saltwater is gentle on hair, skin, and eyes.
  • It requires less added chemicals.
  • Pool maintenance costs may be less expensive.
  • Algae and cloudy water are less common.
  • Swimsuits and pool toys will last longer and won’t fade.
  • Saltwater is very soft.
  • There won’t be any strong chlorine scent.



  • Saltwater systems require a higher up-front investment.
  • You may need to buy a specialized heater, lighting, and liner for saltwater use.
  • Since salt can be corrosive, your pool will need to be regularly checked for signs of erosion and buildup.
  • The chlorine generation doesn’t work as well during colder winter months.
  • The equipment can sometimes be temperamental.

Custom Pool – Chlorinated

A chlorinated pool system uses the traditional method of daily testing and adding various chemicals to kill harmful microorganisms that can cause nasty health problems.


  • A chlorine system is extremely effective at killing both bacteria and algae.
  • The system is less expensive upfront to install.
  • It’s easier to find a pool company who can treat and service your chlorine system.
  • It won’t cause damage to your pool decks or furniture.



  • There are associated health risks from chlorine when it is absorbed through the skin or breathed into the lungs.
  • Side effects of chlorine include red and itchy eyes, skin irritation, and hair discoloration.
  • It can be difficult and time-consuming to balance all the pool chemicals.
  • Continually buying chlorine and stabilizers can get expensive.

If you want more specific and personalized advice on which type of custom built pool system is the best choice for you and your family, contact Robert Allen Pools and Spas today!


What Pool Cover Is Best for You?



One of the most important items you can buy for your pool is a high-quality pool cover, which leaves you with a choice: Which pool cover is best for your swimming pool?

Safety Pool Cover

Safety pool covers, unsurprisingly, are designed primarily around safety, which is why they are a popular choice for families with children or pets.

These pool covers are made to hold weight, which prevents kids and pets from falling through should they wander near the pool unsupervised.

You can choose between solid and mesh covers. Solid covers protect your pool from sunlight and debris, but you’ll have to pump out any accumulated water. Mesh covers protect your pool from debris, but sunlight and snow can seep through, which can lead to algae growth and dirty water.

Automatic Pool Cover

Automatic pool covers offer a lot of protection and are exceptionally easy to use, which is why they also come with a higher price tag. These covers are usually made of vinyl, and they are designed to open and close with the simple flip of a switch or push of a button.

Automatic covers can be used all year long, and they create strong seals that prevent debris, people, or pets from falling into the pool accidentally. These covers also help keep the pool warm and reduce water evaporation.

The cons include the price of installation and replacement, and some people find that the covers can keep the pool a little too warm.

Winter Pool Cover

The winter pool cover, despite its name, does not have to be exclusively used in winter when the pool is not in use. However, because of its bulk and difficulty to remove and replace, it is often only used during the winter.

These covers are made from heavy-duty materials that protect your pool from the freezing temperatures of the winter months. They also help reduce evaporation and exposure to sunlight, which in turn prevents algae growth.

It usually has to be anchored, and it often does not bear weight.

Solar Pool Cover

Many people enjoy solar pool covers because they are both inexpensive to purchase and easy to install.

These covers are designed to float freely on the surface. They can help prevent evaporation and help maintain the temperature of the pool even overnight, but because they are free-floating, they are not the most effective option for preventing debris from accumulating in the pool. Water can also easily collect on top when it rains, and these covers cannot bear weight.

At Robert Allen Pools and Spas, we are dedicated to providing you with the best swimming pools, spas, and maintenance. Contact us today for more information.

What to Look for in a Pool Contractor

So you’ve made the decision to put a pool in. Congratulations! Soon you’ll be turning your yard into your own little oasis, and increasing the value of your home at the same time. Putting in a pool is no small decision, and like most people, you probably want it done just right.

The first and most important step to getting the pool you’ve been dreaming of is finding the best pool contractor for your needs. Pool contractors execute your vision and run the show from start to finish, so you want to make sure this person shares your ideals. Here are a few guidelines to landing the right contractor for the job.


  • Make sure they have a valid license. Any reputable pool contractor will legally be required to have a valid license. You can look up the contractor’s license status online to avoid any awkward conversations.
  • Read reviews. It’s best to find your contractor through word-of-mouth recommendation, but if you don’t know anyone else with a pool, you can still rely on reviews to learn more about the track record of a potential pool contractor. Ask for customer references and read online reviews as well. Look out for information about quality, timeliness, professionalism, mistakes that may have been made, etc.
  • Visit their showroom. You can learn a lot about pool contractors by visiting their showroom. This is the place where the contractor should be able to wow you with beautiful displays and pools that fit your style. If their showroom seems unprofessional, take it as an indication that this contractor may not be a good fit.
  • Make sure the contract is thorough and specific. Contracts are important legal documents that will be your main piece of evidence if issues come up in the future. Don’t ever assume something is understood if you don’t see it in the contract. Thoroughly review the proposal and agreement, making sure it includes specifics about materials used, equipment needed, timeline, pricing, etc.
  • Talk about continuing services. Look for a pool contractor who you can turn to throughout your pool ownership experience. Ask contractors if they offer pool maintenance so you don’t have to go through the same hunting process again. Ideally, the people who made the pool are best equipped to help you maintain it in the future.


Looking for more information about pool services and contractors? If you live in the Reno, Nevada area, contact Robert Allen Pools and Spas for further help. We offer expert advice and services to anyone looking for pool installation or maintenance.

Accessories to Liven Up Your Pool Space

If you’re looking for a way to make the cold days of winter not so gloomy, why not start planning for the summer? And what better way to do that than to find new accessories for your pool? Here are 3 accessories your pool can’t do without this summer.

1. A Poolside Organizer

You have floats, toys, and dive rings for your pool, but do you have a place to keep them organized? Consider purchasing a caddy, bin, or other organizer to make storing your pool accessories easy, while keeping them accessible, and eliminating the clutter that usually covers your pool deck. Decluttering not only makes you pool area look nicer, but makes it a lot safer too.

2. A Water Feature

What better way to accentuate your pool than with a water feature? Depending on the style of your pool, you can enhance the beauty of your space by simply adding a waterfall, a fountain, or even a lighting feature. Whether it is a statement piece, or something small and simple, a water feature can really define your space and give it character.

3. A Robot Pool Cleaner

If you’re still using a brush to manually scrub the walls of your pool clean, consider upgrading to a robotic pool cleaner this year. These cleaners get the job done by themselves, eliminating the work and worry of having to do it yourself, saving you time in the process.

Take the Plunge

Planning for the warm days of summer is sure to help you forget about your winter woes, and at Robert Allen Pools and Spas, we can help. With the right pool accessories, you’ll feel those winter blues melt away in no time.

Call us today if you’d like to add a water feature to your pool!

3 Pool Designs You Should Consider

Is a pool really just a pool? There are so many options when it comes to pool design, but finding the right custom pool for your family is exactly what we do at Robert Allen Pools and Spas. Whether you are looking to install a pool to help implement a new exercise routine, for some fun recreational play, or simply to provide some aesthetics, we can help you choose from a variety of pool designs.

With that being said, below are three great pool options, each with their own unique benefits. While there are many more custom options available, take a look at these to get started. And then tell us, what is your favorite?

Pool with Wading Area

While you can add a variety of features to your pool to make it fit with your family’s needs as well as your style, a pool with a wading area is a design everyone can enjoy. The wading area is perfect for younger children (with adult supervision of course), while the other areas allow for more play and swim time for the older crew. The wading area is also an ideal spot for simply soaking up the sun and laying out no matter what age you might be.

Pool and Spa Combination

While some people enjoy swimming, others prefer a more relaxing soak. The pool and spa combination is the perfect solution where everyone in your family wins! It offers space for more rigorous swimming and play, but also provides a peaceful resting spot for those who just want to relax.

Lap Pool

Not all pools are meant to provide total relaxation. While you can still lounge in a lap pool, its main purpose is to provide you with a space to exercise and do, well, laps. If you need a functional place to train, this is always a great option.

If you would like to see more pool design options, check out our website at Robert Allen Pools and Spas, or call us today.

3 Tips for Prepping Your Pool for the Perfect Party

There’s more to throwing a pool party than music, games, and guests. Your pool area needs to be prepped and ready, too. Use the following tips to make sure your pool is party-ready in no time.

Safety First: Provide the Appropriate Safety Gear

Before the party begins, make sure to stock your pool area with basic safety gear. Every pool area should include the following:

  • First-aid kit
  • Lifesaver rings
  • Pool depth markers
  • Stair rails

If your pool party includes kids, you can’t always count on parents bringing the appropriate safety gear. It’s always a good idea to have life jackets or other child-friendly flotation devices available in various sizes.

Keep It Clean: Clear Any Debris or Mess

Make sure all patio furniture is in good repair, and clear any debris from around the pool. All walkways should be clear as well; you don’t want anyone to accidentally trip and injure themselves at your party.

Before your guests arrive, make sure to clear out any debris from the surface or bottom of your pool. It’s easy for bugs, leaves, branches, and such to collect on the water’s surface, even with regular upkeep. You’ll want to clean any tiles as well if you haven’t done so recently.

Balance is Key: Have a Chemical Testing/Balancing Check-up

Nothing ruins a party like irritated eyes or skin. If your pool’s chemicals are out of balance, you risk irritation, illness, and property damage.

The chemicals in your pool must maintain a proper balance in order to be effective. Pool owners need to pay attention to the following chemical levels: cyanuric acid, pH (or acidity/alkalinity), free chlorine, calcium hardness, and total alkalinity.

If any of these levels are out of balance, your pool and swimmers suffer. Owners should test their water once a week with a kit and balance the chemicals accordingly. Before a big pool party, you might consider having a professional maintenance check-up to make sure the chemicals are balanced, your filters are clean, and your pool is operating at full capacity.

If you’re in the market for a new pool, or if you would like to learn about our professional maintenance and cleaning services, contact Robert Allen Pools and Spas today.

Safety and Maintenance Tips for Indoor Pools

Safety is paramount when maintaining an indoor pool, especially when you’re using chemicals to clean and sanitize the water. Common sense can take you a long way, of course, but keep in mind these additional tips for pool maintenance, so you can be sure all your family and friends can enjoy your pool safely, year-round.

Chemical Safety

Basic pool maintenance involves handling chemicals that can be hazardous without proper precautions. Improperly handling chemicals can lead to chemical burns as well as other health hazards if toxic fumes are inhaled. Pool chemicals are designed to dissolve in a large body of water, which means they are often quite concentrated to begin with.

The following safety tips can help you handle your pool chemicals safely:

  • Store chemicals in a cool, dry place, out of the sunlight and away from children and pets
  • Containers should be secured and locked when not in use in a well-ventilated area
  • Oxidizers should never be stored near acids
  • Chemicals shouldn’t be stored over-head, and liquid chemicals shouldn’t be stored above solid or powder chemicals
  • Store chemicals in original containers and do not use any contents in unlabeled containers
  • Don’t ever store pool chemicals near anything flammable, such as paints or gasoline.
  • Never mix chemicals
  • Carefully read and follow manufacturer recommendations
  • Always wear protective gear when handling chemicals and only use these substances in a well-ventilated area

Pools that aren’t treated with chemicals attract disease-causing mosquitoes and bacteria, so be sure to maintain the proper pool chemistry at all times.

Pool Maintenance Safety

When it comes to performing maintenance tasks on your indoor pool, follow these safety tips:

  • Take care around filters, pool pumps, and mechanical components—these are electronic devices. Electronics and water do not go well together, so don’t ever plug in an extension cord around your indoor pool.
  • Don’t let guests use the pool when the suction drain cover is broken or missing.
  • Don’t use an aluminum vacuum handle in your pool.
  • Don’t enter the pool while you are running a utility pump.
  • Wear protective gear while performing maintenance tasks on your pool, and wear a swim cap or pin up your hair if it is long.

Contact Us

To learn more about our pools and spas, contact Robert Allen Pools and Spas in Reno, Nevada. We are experts in pool and spa safety and here to make sure you and your family are safe in the water.

Landscaping Your Personal Paradise: Ideas to Beautify Your Backyard Pool

If you are lucky enough to have a backyard pool or are in the process of building one, you know that comfort is key, and appearance is everything. Pools should be hubs of social activity and a place of serene escape in which you can enjoy friends and family. A well-planned landscaping project can transform an ordinary backyard into an oasis of relaxation and refreshment. Here are some tips that you can use to transform your backyard into your personal paradise. Read more

Using Hot Tubs and Spas to Obtain Your Fitness Goals

Achieving maximum weight loss and fitness goals is an important part of everyone’s life, but it’s not always as easy as people might like to believe. Good health requires more than just exercise or a healthy diet alone. It requires a total lifestyle change, and that is wherein the biggest problem lies for most people. They’re unwilling to spend time making healthy changes in lieu of hoping adding gym visits or just eating better will do the trick. It’s true both do help with weight loss and an overall healthier lifestyle, but neither exercise or a healthy diet can do the full job alone. It’s time to make healthy lifestyle changes, and learning how to use your spa and/or hot tub to help is only going to make weight loss more attainable. Read more

The Basics of Pool Maintenance

One of the most important parts of owning a pool is to maintain it throughout the year with a high level of care that is provided. Proper pool maintenance ensures that the water is safe to swim in and that the equipment will last longer. When you want to understand how to care for your pool, there are a few basics that come with pool maintenance. Read more