custom built pools

When Should I Open My Pool?

If you are a pool owner that lives in an area with four seasons, you have asked yourself when should I open my pool? Fortunately for you, I have come up with a multitude of factors to consider when deciding when to open your pool. Your pool opening should be as painless as possible and we’re here to help.

1. Weather

When asking yourself, when should I open my pool weather should be your first consideration. You own a pool to enjoy it, as well as the conditions outside. If the weather is unfavorable you will not be using your pool. Always look at the current weather forecast as well as past years prior to opening your pool.

2. Company Availability

When spring hits most people are chomping at the bit to get their pool open and begin using it. If you don’t feel comfortable opening it yourself, chances are you are going to call a pool company to do it for you. Most companies get booked up quickly when that nice weather hits and you may find yourself having to wait a month or two to get your pool opening scheduled. This may seem to contradict the first option and it does. To avoid any issues with weather, or company availability, call and schedule your opening a few months ahead of time. It may require some guesswork with the weather but if you do some research concerning weather patterns in your area you will usually be able to accurately guess the best time for your pool opening.

3. When Did You Close Your Pool?

The longer water sits stagnant in your pool without circulation, the more bacteria will grow and the cloudier or greener it will become. There are a number of other factors that come into play here such as the amount of biodegradable material in the water, chemicals added to the water, and so on. If your pool is consistently green when you open then you may want to consider opening it earlier in the spring or pulling leaves out of the water throughout the winter while also adding chlorine.

Of course, you may have different reasons that are the determining factor for the date of your pool opening, however, if that is not the case taking these three factors into consideration will help you determine the best time to open your pool.


built in hot tubs

How to Estimate Hot Tub Cost Before Purchase

For most people, cost plays a large role in whether or not they own a hot tub. Often, people assume that a high-quality hot tub is outside of their budget, and they don’t even consider it. Others believe that they can purchase a low-end, cheap model and get the same results as a top-of-the-line spa. However, smart consumers do their research and plan their hot tub purchase so they can get the best quality product at the best price, which is why you’re here. For more information about hot tub cost, maintenance cost, and hot tub finance options, check out the sections below.

Hot Tub Prices

Hot tub prices vary according to size, model, and accessories, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $2,000 and $18,000 on your initial purchase. The more you invest in your hot tub up front, the more included features, like durability and energy efficiency. A higher-end model will last much longer than a cheaper model and will save you money over time on maintenance and upkeep.

Hot Tub Cost

When estimating hot tub cost, you’ll also need to figure in chemicals (about $20-$40 per month), filters (about $45 each), and replacement covers. You’ll most likely need to replace your cover between four and six years after your purchase, and you can plan to spend approximately $500 for a new cover. Finally, you’ll need to include the cost of running the spa. Bullfrog Spas is the leader in energy efficiency, with an estimated monthly cost of $11.81, compared to other companies which can be as high as $18.80 per month.

Best Hot Tubs for Cold Climates

When you live in areas with colder weather, your hot tub will have to work harder to stay warm, which will result in higher energy costs. Make sure the hot tub you choose includes full-foam insulation and an advanced water delivery system, like the ones made by Bullfrog Spas, and avoid perimeter system insulation and excessive pipes and tubes. It is also wise to get a hot tub cover that is durable, fits snugly, and is strong enough to hold the weight of a heavy snowfall. Learn more about the best hot tubs for cold climates.

Hot Tub Finance Options

If you don’t have the full amount saved to cover hot tub costs, or you don’t want to use it all at once, there are several hot tub finance options available. One benefit to hot tub financing is that you are able to spread out the cost over time, which allows you to get the hot tub and features you really want. As with any big purchase, you want to gather information about all your hot tub finance options before choosing one, so you can be sure you are making the best choice for you.

Hot tubs can be financed through the dealers themselves, which is great because you can finish the approval process quickly. A personal loan is another great way to go, and allows you to compare rates before committing. You can also use a home equity loan or a HELOC. Both of these involve using the equity of your home as collateral for your hot tub cost, but a HELOC works more like a credit card with a spending limit, where a home equity loan has a predetermined total given in one lump sum.

As you conduct your research for buying a hot tub remember to also look at customer ratings to get trustworthy online reviews to make sure you are getting a great product. Get started choosing the hot tub of your dreams by visiting Robert Allen Pools and Spas today. Don’t forget to ask about our energy efficient Bullfrog Spas hot tub models.

custom pools and spas

How to Open a Pool in The Spring: Tips And Tricks

If you own a pool, you know how exciting it is once spring rolls around. That means the weather starts to warm up and it’s time to get ready to jump into the pool. But knowing how to open a pool in the spring is important.

Think about it: Your pool has been sitting untouched for several months. If not maintained and opened properly, it won’t be ready for that first swim. For those of you who enjoy a special DIY project, we’ve put together these simple steps to getting your pool ready for spring.

Step 1: The Pool Cover

You can’t get to your pool before taking off the cover. But before you do, it’s important to clear the cover of debris. This might seem like a no-brainer, but many people think they can get away with just removing the cover, causing leaves and sticks to enter the pool water.

If you have a solid pool cover, water and ice might have accumulated over the winter months. Pump out this water so it doesn’t enter your pool. Simply use a wet-vac to remove the moisture. Remember to keep your cover tight so it’s easier to remove water and other debris.

Mesh covers don’t need intensive cleaning and you can just rinse them. No matter what you use, avoid pressure washers as they can damage any pool cover.

Step 2: Plugs

When you winterized your pool, the return lines were blown out to remove water. You might have also added any antifreeze or ice compensator into the pool’s skimmer. Now, it’s time to reverse that process.

First, remove all the winterizing plugs from return lines and the ice compensator from your skimmer.

Then, evacuate any antifreeze by turning the handle on your multiport valve to waste. This will push everything to the waste line as the pump is running. You’ll then want to clean out the cartridge filters—or replace them—and replace the return fittings along with any old filters.

Step 3: Refilling the Pool

Your pool should already have water in it from when you properly winterized it, but you probably lost water over time due to evaporation. It’s important to bring water levels up to halfway up your skimmer—just use a garden hose.

Step 4: Final Touches

This last step includes checking your filter, priming the pump, and making sure the water is clean. Pool owners must ensure the chemicals in the pool are properly added, as this is critical to the health and safety of the pool and those who swim in it. There are numerous YouTube videos to help you properly balance the pool’s chemicals.

To learn more about preparing your pool and how to open it during spring, give us a call. We’re experts in pool maintenance and can help you learn more about properly caring for your pool. And if you’re in any of our service areas, come see us to see how we can help.

swim spots in nevada

Top 3 Swim Spots in Nevada

Nevada isn’t just known for being the entertainment capital of the U.S.–the state is also home to some of the most gorgeous swimming spots around. We can think of few better ways to spend a hot summer day than visiting one of Nevada’s famous swimming holes!

Check out some of our top picks for the best swim spots in Nevada near Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Truckee, CA.

Sand Harbor Beach – Lake Tahoe

Sand Harbor is one of the best beaches at Lake Tahoe, attracting both casual swimmers and scuba divers alike. There are plenty of spots on the beach where you can soak up the sun.

However, if you’re looking for a less crowded beach experience at Sand Harbor, check out Diver’s Cove. This smaller beach offers plenty of shade from pine trees and is less visited than the sunnier portions of Sand Harbor.

Colorado River Beach – Goldstrike Canyon

This small, rocky beach is located downstream of the Hoover Dam and is one of the more pristine swim spots in Nevada near Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Truckee, CA, offering crystal clear waters perfect for swimming. You can access this swim spot either through a beautiful 4-mile trail past Goldstrike Hot Springs or in El Dorado Canyon.

Whitewater Park at Rock Park – Sparks, NV

This swim spot in Nevada offers not only some great swimming locales, but also 5 different drop pools for kayaking, tubing, and rafting.

Whitewater Park also features safe play areas for children, making this swim spot an excellent place to spend the day with your family.

Contact Robert Allen Pools and Spas

If you’re looking to transform your backyard into a beautiful swim locale for your family, contact Robert Allen Pools and Spas today! We have years of experience designing custom residential pools and offer a wide range of pool maintenance services.

pool maintenance

How to Take Care of a Pool During the Off-Season

You swim your heart out all summer, but during the fall and cooler weather, it’s time to take care of your pool for the off-season. Once you’ve prepared your pool by draining its water and covering it, follow these tips to keep your pool in good shape for next season.

Tip 1. Check Pipes and Motorized Parts

When temperatures reach freezing levels, if there is any excess water in the pipes or pool parts it can cause them to crack by freezing inside them. If a pipe or pool part cracks, it can be quite expensive to repair or change. You can prevent leaks by checking the pipes and pool parts frequently.  Proper care of a pool can make all the difference.

Tip 2. Keep the Pool Cover On All Winter

Make sure you keep the pool cover on all winter and clean the top to keep it free from debris and frozen water. If your pool remains covered, it will stay clean and easier to prepare for the warmer season. It also prevents any accidents from happening. Children can drown in less than 2 inches of water and while during the summer we are vigilant and careful, we could become more relaxed during the cooler months.

Tip 3. Add the Right Mix of Chemicals

In the fall, add some chlorine and algaecide to keep the pool water clean during the colder months. As the weather starts warming up, start preparing your pool by adding liquid chlorine to the water. You can do this yourself or call an expert to give you a hand.

Tip 4. Get Help

Doing all of this work yourself can be daunting, so why don’t you get some help and contact someone who has the knowledge and has the experience? Robert Allen Pools and Spas can help take care of your pool during the off-season. We offer maintenance and service to ensure that your pool or spa stays in tip-top shape all year round. We serve areas around Lake Tahoe from Carson City to Reno and Sparks to Truckee, CA. Give us a call to schedule maintenance or service, today!