Smart Shield

Solar Shield

Sometimes it feels like everyone and everything is working against you, doesn’t it?  In your pool, you battle algae, bacteria, leaves and yes, even the sun.  The sun causes big time water evaporation.  Evaporation means you have less water AND less heat.

Enter your new pool bestie, Smart Shield.  SmartShieldu

Costing significantly less than your average solar cover or solar blanket, BioGuard’s Smart Shield is essentially a liquid solar cover.  This outstanding formula keeps your water six to seven degrees warmer!  We know those precious degrees are actually the difference in a comfortable swimming experience for most folks.  That is, those of us over the age of ten.  #kidswillalwaysswim (If you’re under the age of ten, pool water is acceptable at any temperature, provided time spent swimming greatly reduces time spent doing chores.)  In any case, you should know that chilly nights are no match for this pool water conserver.  Your pool water stays right where it belongs – in your pool.  Your water temperature remains consistent, despite the sun’s best efforts at evaporation and the weather’s best attempts at chilling your pool water down, down, DOWN.  Our resident experts recommend using Smart Shield monthly throughout your swim season for optimum results.  How can a product stay effective for a month, you ask?  Smart Shield has a top notch enduring formula that truly lasts up to thirty days.  We’ve seen how consistent Smart Shield application actually lengthens your swim season.  So, stop fighting the elements on top of everything else.  Drop by our store to pick up your incredible bottle of Smart Shield.

Until next time, take a tip from Dory and “just keep swimming!”


Where’s Buddy?

Buddy1      Where’s Buddy?

Now that you’ve met Buddy, our toad-ally wonderful Bullfrog Spas representative, we thought you might enjoy a rousing game of “Where’s Buddy?”  Doreen has helped Buddy to sequester himself in various “hidey-holes” in our store and showroom and your job is to locate him in the all of the pictures.  Then, hop on over to our Facebook page Buddy6on the “Where’s Buddy?” post and comment or double hop on over to the Contact page on our website and send the answers that way.  In doing so, you’ll be entered to win a colorful and fun prize package of Melissa and Doug sand and sun toys.  What are you waiting for?  Let’s find Buddy now!

Only one entry per family please.  This contest is open to residents of the US only.





Oh where,Oh where can he be??


Memorial Day

Mempic2Get Your Memorial Day Fun Essentials Now!

 The official first day of swim season is quickly approaching.  With Memorial Day only a few days away, swim parties and backyard fun in the sun launchs soon.  Perusing your pool fun stash, you’ll likely notice that last year’s pool toys are flat, faded and fun-less.  Don’t worry!  You can count on Gary Thull Pools.  For the smallest swimmers, we stock an entire line of quality Melissa and Doug water toys.4-8-16i From poolside chairs for the little people, to pirate treasure water games, the little ones will be delighted.  We have happy kickboards and silly sunglasses.  Our sand toys are sure to please.  We also carry water muscles for the young Steelers fans.  For the entire family, we have rafts for lounging, goggles for underwater play and patriotic beach balls for impromptu Memorial Day games.  Get the whole party involved in Games3a poolside game of Diskee, the Ultimate Disc Game or our Quarterback Touchdown Throw game.  Our BULLZi Bucket toss game will be popular with all of your guests.  Towel off at the end of the day with a specially embroidered beach towel, purchased exclusively here at the Gary Thull Pools Store & Showroom.  Don’t get caught with only flat, faded and fun-less pool toys!  Stock up today on all the pool time fun essentials.  Gary Thull Pools honors those who have served to keep American safe as well as those who gave all protecting our country. We wish you and yours a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.  God bless the USA!


Meet Buddy

Meet Buddy

“Excuse me; I don’t believe we’ve met yet.  I’m Buddy, the Bullfrog on staff here at Gary IMG_1723Thull Pools.  I’ve been representing Bullfrog Spas for a long time now, but I’m new to Gary Thull Pools.  I perch atop one of the many spas that reside here temporarily, before making their way to your home – their spa forever homes.  I’ve got a great view here, on the corner of this spa.  I can see Doreen as she tends to customers, mans the front desk, answers the phone and keeps the store running like a well-oiled machine.  I wish she’d bring me a snack every now and again.  What’s a frog to do?!  Mostly though, I’m happy to sit here in the showroom, greeting you as you enter.  It’s a terrific vantage IMG_1744point for all the colors and finishes of our Bullfrog Spas.  My personal favorite is the Penn State themed spa, with deep Navy blue tones, complemented with shades of pearly white.  It’s quite a looker!  I’m quite certain there’s a spa here that you will love.  If there isn’t, I’ve discovered that Gary or one of our other knowledgeable staff will help you customize and order your perfect spa.  Speaking of IMG_1738customization, Gary Thull Pools doesn’t limit their customization to colors, finishes and textures.  No sir!  IMG_1719Your future spa is made for you and only you, as you select the perfect Jet Pak for your ideal Bullfrog Spa experience.  I’ve hopped around these parts long enough to realize that there are currently sixteen different Jet Paks to choose from.  I’m hoping Doreen will stay out of the showroom so I can hop in the spa tomorrow to test the Jet Paks myself.  I’ve got my eye on the NeckMasseuse, as my neck gets a little cramped, holding my head in this position all day.  The Spinal Health is another on my list to try out.  I’ve overheard Doreen say how much she likes the RainShower Jet Pak and Gary favors the Deep Relief Jet Pak.  I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, but I overheard the IMG_1726families who stopped by to wet test our Bullfrog Spa raving about the unique and superior experience each Jet Pak creates.  I’ve observed that you humans seem to be a rather diverse lot, which is why I adamantly recommend the Jet Paks.  Tall, short, somewhere in between, with lower back troubles, neck aches, foot pain, whatever plight or position you’re in, I’ve found that Gary Thull Pools has a Jet Pak for you and your constantly evolving needs.  I bounded out of the way the other day when Zeph was demonstrating in the showroom, but I needn’t have worried.  The Jet Paks are IMG_1734jetted spa seat backs that are completely interchangeable, even while your spa is full of water.  Zeph switched them out easily, right then and there.  My frog jaw was on the floor!  Once, when Doreen was busy with a customer at the chemicals display, I took a peek at the Bullfrog Spas diagram.  Those things are engineering masterpieces.  I’ve been around the spa business long enough to know that most spa diagrams look like “Spa-ghetti,” with their maze of plumbing and such.  It’s an efficiency nightmare, but not with our Bullfrog Spas.  They IMG_1733are the most efficient spas on the market, with a super low monthly operating cost.  I’m hoping you’ll hop over here soon.  It’s been a real pleasure meeting you.  I’m looking forward to greeting you in person ‘toad-day’ as you browse our Gary Thull Pools showroom.”

Grand Opening

Grand Opening

You’ve probably heard the news by now; Gary Thull Pools is thrilled to be opening our brand new retail store and showroom!  We hope you’re already planning on stopping by Friday, April 8th from 3:00 pm–8:00 pm or Saturday, April 9th from 9:00 am–4:00 pm.  You’ll be able to meet the Gary Thull Pools family.

 “Who’s the go-getter that sold me my pool?” 

That’s Gary, and he’ll be there!

“Who’s the cheerful lady that answers the phone?” 

That’s Doreen, and she’ll be there!

 “Who’s the young man with the gotee that came to my rescue?” 

That’s Zeph, and, yes, he’ll be there, along with the factory representatives for our line of Bullfrog Spas and BioGuard chemicals.  They’ll be fielding questions and sharing their knowledge and expertise with you, our favorite customers.  Arm yourself with questions and drop by to gain answers and inspiration.  There will be food to nibble on and fun giveaways too.  We’ll have store specials going on that you won’t want to miss.  It’s definitely worth gracing us with your presence. Whip out your Smartphone now and tap our April 8th and 9th Grand Opening details into your calendar.  See you then!


Gary Thull Pools is Opening a Store and Showroom

OpenSoonBannerWe are excited to serve you at our brand new retail store at 551 E. College Ave, Bellefonte (Pleasant Gap), PA.  That’s right on Rte 64 beside another community fixture, the Sunset West Restaurant.  Our store and showroom will be opening April 8th, stocked with pool accessories, chemicals, toys and parts.

We’re proudly stocking BioGuard’s best products.  We’ll have sanitizers, algae killing and prevention products, shock products and water balancers.  Swing by and grab what you need.

We’re thrilled to be bringing you Bullfrog spas.  These spas are fully customizable.  Each individual jet pack can be interchanged to create custom massages in order to maximize your relaxation.  Our showroom is open for you!

We have a full size fiberglass pool display at our store and a smaller version inside our showroom.  Come see the pools’ beautiful and durable structure and finish.

We want you to get up close and personal with your options.  The best way is to witness how to install and operate an automatic cover.

We believe in this deck coating product so much that we installed both inside and outside our store for you to witness its beauty and durability one-two punch.

Everybody loves choices.  C’mon in and see all the 2016 liner patterns.  We know there’s one that will make your wife dance a happy dance.

  • Parts, parts, parts!

We’re housing an entire inventory of parts on site.  Painstakingly organized by our super-hero, Zeph, we know we can help you find what your pool and spa equipment need.

  • Water testing equipment

Sometimes you just need an expert diagnosis, right?  Jet over to our place and you can take full advantage of our expertise, helping you fight algae and other common pool problems.

  • Accessories

They say, “Accessories make the outfit.”  We believe that accessories make the pool!  From pool brushes to safety products to pool time fun, we’ve got the accessories covered in our store.

We’ve stocked an entire line of quality Melissa & Doug products just for the kids!  Kick boards!  Beach balls!  Pool games!  Kid-sized chairs!  The younger set will be thrilled to find the good stuff for them here.  The Gary Thull grandkids have already given this fine line of toys and accessories their hearty approval.  We bet yours will do the same.

You know what we stand for at Gary Thull Pools.  The outstanding customer service that has become synonymous with our name and reputation will be trademark in our store and showroom.

Join us for our Grand Opening on Friday, April 8th from 3:00 pm–8:00 pm and Saturday, April 9th from 9:00 am–4:00 pm.  We can’t wait to see you there!

A GTP Super Hero

Meet Zeph

 He may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but he’s a super hero nonetheless.

Snake1 5-2015 Who else would be willing to reach into your pool heater to relocate a four foot long Black snake? This unwelcome surprise ambushed Zeph as he and Scott were opening a customer’s pool. Then, three more snakes, just as large, had to be relocated as well. Zeph is always ready to put the customer first. He’s been known to capture unwelcome pool and poolside residents, such as toads, frogs, salamanders, tadpoles, skunks, groundhogs and yes, as we already mentioned, snakes. Recently, he even had to assist a mother duck with her brood of 9 ducklings. She wasn’t thrilled when she heard that this wasn’t her family’s own private pond, but Zeph and Bubby convinced her that there was better swimming elsewhere. The ducklings were adorable, but Zeph knew they just weren’t helping the Chlorine demand.


Zeph has been with Gary Thull Pools from the beginning. His knowledge and skills are such an asset to our company. If you’ve ever had an elusive liner leak, guess whose skills we rely upon? Zeph’s! Since he has his SCUBA license and SCUBA experience,

Scubahe’s thoroughly equipped to find that leak, even when it isn’t warm enough to be swimming. Though he isn’t donning a mask and cape, his wet suit, swim mask and oxygen tank look like super hero garb to us! In addition to his construction, cleaning and maintenance expertise, Zeph is vital to the pool design process. Using a special pool design program, he designs preliminary images to help you imagine and solidify what you’re looking for in your backyard. This is such a helpful tool as it aids in communication between you, our customers, and our Gary Thull Pools sales team. Yes, Zeph, the super hero, has some major skills.


Now you know a little bit more about an integral member of the Gary Thull Pools family. Next time the brown-haired guy in the crew cut and goatee steps out of a Gary Thull Pools vehicle, you’ll know you’re in good hands.

Vehicle1If you see him, just say Hi!

To Brush or NOT To Brush?

paintbrush2To brush or not to brush, that is the question. If we were discussing your dental hygiene, it wouldn’t even be a question. You’d brush! Gotta take good care of those pearly whites, right? Did you know that your pool needs regular brushing? Gary Thull Pools doesn’t order brushing three times a day in your swim haven, however, breathe a sigh of relief, brushing your pool is recommended once a week and it only takes about ten minutes! That sounds doable, doesn’t it? Ten minutes, at least once a week, spent brushing your pool walls with gentle, but firm pressure could very well be the thing that stands between you and stains in your pool. Regular brushing also plays a big part in inhibiting the growth of algae. And, yes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Remember, algae, once established in your pool, can be a tough character to run out of town! Manual brushing reaches in to the hardest to reach places and breaks up what may be accumulating and growing on your pool walls. Starting above the water line and moving down the walls and side slopes in even strokes will ensure that all surface area is brushed. While skimming the surface of your pool water can help to remove larger debris from your pool, brushing can move and stir up fine dirt and tiny debris in order to aid in better filtration. It also makes the dirt and debris easier to be picked up with your pool vacuum later. That’s why you want to start at the top of the wall and move all the way down, brushing the entire pool floor and deep end. It’s a good idea to do this while your pump is operating. And, don’t forget to brush your pool step and benches! Algae accumulating there can make them slippery and slimy. If, for some reason, your pool is super grubby, go ahead and clean the filter when you’re done. I’ll bet the pool water looks more inviting now than ever. Take a dip! It’s so refreshing knowing you’re taking good care of your investment.

  • Here’s the pool brush we recommend. It’s an 18 inch nylon bristled brush that attaches to your pool pole to reach all the way down into the deep end!
  •  Does your pool pole telescope? It doesn’t? <gasp!> Call or email Gary Thull Pools today to order the most versatile pool tool on the planet!
  •  Did your pool brush get a little sun-baked? (Oops!) Are your bristles looking a little flaky? Have no fear, you can order a new one today and get started on a weekly pool-brushing regiment!

Give us a call if you have any questions!

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Check out some random fun facts about swimming and pools!

Did you know that two men (Mike and Bob) volleyed their Badminton birdie 206 times in their swimming pool? Badminton, anyone?

Watch it here!

Did you know Dimos and Renos volleyed a soccer ball 1,925 times, using their heads, while standing in the ocean? Maybe they took ibuprofen before they started!

Watch it here!

Did you know that the world’s largest swimming pool is in Chile? It covers 20 acres and is 3,300 feet long!

Did you know that the world’s deepest swimming pool is in Italy? It’s 137 feet deep and used for training and research!

Did you know that enough water flows over Niagara Falls to fill all the swimming pools in the United States in only three days!

FallsDid you know that President Gerald Ford had a pool installed at the White House in 1975?  The First Family wanted to swim!

WhiteHousePoolDid you know that elephants use their trunks as a snorkel and swim often?  And, armadillos can walk on the bottom of bodies of water!  Who knew?

ElephantinPoolEverybody needs a dose of useless information now and then.  Share them with your teenage son or daughter tonight over the dinner table.  It just might spark some laughs and good conversation.

Returns: What are they for?

Eyeballs2What Are Returns Really For?

You know that eyeball looking thing on your pool wall? That’s called a return. You might think its sole purpose is to point upwards and make your water look all ripply. It’s soothing, right? It’s pretty, isn’t it? However, you may want to rethink that. A return is a pivotal part of the circulation process in your pool.   Main drains and skimmers pull the water in. The water is filtered and then resent in to the pool through the returns. Every pool has a system like this in order to achieve good circulation. Good circulation is probably more important that you might think. Look at it this way:

Better water circulation leads to better filtration.

arrow downBetter filtration leads to a cleaner pool.

arrow downA cleaner pool leads to a happier family.

arrow downA happier family leads to a better life.

We all want that, don’t we? Seriously, though, circulation can eliminate those spots where no water moves – the dead spots that breed algae and yuck. They are your trouble spots. You know, behind the ladder, in the corners or on the bottom of your pool. It can take several hours to filter all the water in your pool, sometimes cycling it through up to four times before it all has been filtered! The direction of your return can be a real help or a massive hindrance to the circulation and filtration process. By pointing your returns upward, the bottom half of your pool will rarely be filtered. It will lie stagnant while you enjoy the lovely ripples across the water’s surface. All the while, that stagnation is breeding algae, causing you headaches later on.

Let’s pay heed to the direction of our returns. If we direct them toward the bottom of our pool, the circulation can increase and the filtration will be more effective. Heave a sigh of relief, a simple fix of return direction may have just solved some of your algae troubles.