New Products

Sunday, April 25th, 2004

We’ve added a new series of natural gas and propane heaters: MiniMax NT with electronic ignition. They are a little more expensive than our current millivolt series, and require electricity to operate; but they are better, last longer, are more reliable, and can work well in more conditions. If you do not have a  heater on your pool, you are not taking full advantage of your investment. People with heaters can use their pools five to ten times as much as people who do not. All of a sudden, your cost per use drops to nothing! Gas heaters start at only $679 during the pre-seasonal sale.

There is a new Baquacil Ultra improvement that allows you to reduce the amount of tablets by adding a new product that attacks the enzyme that forms the coating that protects bioslime. We skipped the experiment last year and we’ll probably start offering it in mid-summer. It won’t necessarily be cheaper, but it will work better. You won’t have to get rid of anything, just use fewer tablets. ( or use the same amount less often) and add the Clearguard product. Overall, total chemical use will go down, and there should be fewer relapses.

For chlorine tablet users, consider switching to chlorinator tabs—the smaller tablets made for refilling automatic chlorinators. They are the same chemical and price as Jumbo Tabs and Sticks, only smaller. They are much easier to control in an automatic chlorinator or floater. They dissolve a little faster in a skimmer, so you will probably refill your skimmer about three times a week instead of twice a week. However, you will be able to control your chlorine levels much better.

Why? Because your need for chlorine changes with the weather, but the size of your Jumbo Tab, Slow Stick or Jumbo Slow Pokey-type tablet does not. Let’s say one tablet works fine when it is cool. How do you add one and a half when it is hot? With smaller tablets, you may add three to four small tabs when it’s cold, and five to six when it’s hot (obviously depending on the pool size). The point is, you can control finer changes with smaller tablets.

We have a new brand of hot tubs now— Everyday Hot Tubs made by our primary brand: Marquis. The Everyday tubs are made with Marquis quality, but they are $2,000, cheaper than Marquis! That makes them the best hot tubs made between $3,000 and $6,000.

Not a new product, but a product warning: Cheap pool ladders no longer exist and this may be the last year for medium-priced ladders. There will probably be shortages by the end of the year. Why? There is a fear that someone will swim between the ladder rungs, panic, forget how to back out and drown. I assume it’s happened once already to create this fear. Anyhow, the cost of insuring cheap ladders made them too expensive to be worth making.

We expect the government to ban something this winter, and it may be that they will ban all pool ladders and require completely solid steps that you cannot get through or around. The ladder manufacturers have been asked for a solution, but they have spent their time arguing with each other, instead of agreeing to a solution, so it will probably be government-imposed. Our Elegance stair system ($579.99) is the safest that we’ve seen, and will certainly be allowed by the new law. However, if you want a safety ladder under $200 or a deck-to-pool ladder under $100 (we have them, too) you should get it this year. Just remember that it could be dangerous.

I’m told that we’re completing our outdoor patio display this year—setting up six “outdoor rooms” with patio furniture, grills, fireplaces, heaters, outdoor games, flowers, plants, etc. It should be mostly be by the end of April (I’m writing this on March 30th). Have a look when you’re in to see how it turned out.

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