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!

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.

It’s In The Details

The Details: O-Rings

beach_ballDetails. They’ll get you every time. We all gotta take care of the little details in the big jobs, right? It’s the time of year when we feel the warm sunshine on our shoulders and start thinking about handling that getting-the-pool-opened job. There’s so much to think about when opening your pool, but the importance of giving attention to your filtration system cannot be stressed enough to you, friends. Seemingly insignificant rubber or rubber-like seals do their best to facilitate a thoroughly efficient filtration process. O-rings are vital for keeping things air and water tight throughout your entire filtration system. Take a peek inside your pump lid. An O-ring probably resides there. Check the filter belly band and chlorinator lid as well. O-rings will greet you and thank you for a little TLC twice a year or so. While Vaseline probably comes to mind the moment we say “lubricant,” we don’t recommend it for the best interests of your O-rings. It’s a petroleum based lubricant which can eat away at your O-rings over time, thus shortening the lifespan of your O-ring and leaking air and water in the process. Generally, silicone and Teflon lubricants are considered a wise alternative to petroleum based products. Magic Lube or Lube Tube are both affordable solutions to help create that water and air tight seal we’re looking to achieve. While there are many lubricants on the market, it’s important to discern the type of lubricant before applying it to your O-rings. Just a little swab of the right kind of lubricant on your O-rings when you open your pool will go a long way toward filtration system efficiency. Then, you can rest easy, knowing you’ve got the details covered.

Have questions?  Contact us!

Pool Party Inspirations

Pool Party Inspiration

Gary Thull Pools is thrilled that this Memorial Day officially kicks off Pool Party season.  We’ve picked up a few ideas for your pool party that we’d like to share.

 The forecast says warm weather will be here this weekend, so why not fill a wading pool with ice and place your picnic dishes inside.  Things will stay nicely cool with less hassle Photo/Idea credit to

Got bug problems?  Simply serve your salads in covered cookie jars!  The bugs will be outsmarted for once and you’ll look like a designer hostess.

Photo/Idea credit to

Speaking of food, these easy peasy dishes are sure to add some patriotic pizzazz to your party!  Red, White and Blue strawberries chant “USA” loud and clear.  Your teenage daughter would love to pitch in and dip the berries for you too.  YUMMY!        (She can pretend she’s a Food Network Star.)

Need an easy dessert that’s a winner every time?  Whip up this peppy twist on the classic Rice Krispy Treat.

Going for a show-stopper?  Use this photo inspiration for your fruit tray display that will wow ‘em for sure.

From Pinterest – Source Unknown

For a fabulous family friendly beverage, give these sparklers a try.  Kids and adults alike will be thrilled to sip away

Every good Memorial Day party needs a centerpiece or two.  Inexpensive dried beans replicate the flag in these simple centerpieces.

Photo Credit to

Or, try colored water with some summer blossoms and a flag for a patriotic punch for your table.

Let your party last into the night, by tossing in glowsticks.  It’ll knock their socks off!

Most importantly, enjoy your family, friends and your pool this holiday weekend.  Gary Thull Pools wishes you a terrific holiday weekend.  As always, feel free to contact us if there is anything we can do to make your pool party better.




Red.  Yellow.  Green.  Not new wall color ideas for your living room… we’re referring to your pool’s biggest nemesis – algae.  Algae are a rough bunch of pool-time fun killjoys – a gang that waits for no welcome, stays a while and skips town, only when forced.  Who knew this gang could come in so many colors and forms?  Common green algae like to proliferate on steps and walls, anywhere the sun shines, but where the water doesn’t circulate as well.  It makes a quick entrance – getting good and comfy in your pool or spa in 24 hours or less!  Yellow algae live in many of the same areas as green algae do, except it is a tougher pest to destroy.  Blue-green or black algae are mostly found in the I-forgot-I-had-a-swimming-pool-for-a-really-long-time category. 

No Long-term Maintenance = Black Algae’s Welcome Mat

A trusty stiff-bristled brush is required to convince black algae that they need to skip town fast.  Yes, black algae are one tough bunch.  Pink algae, on the other hand, like to park themselves at the waterline of your pool.  They are more than happy to skedaddle at the sight of your pool brush coming their way.  Then, there are clear algae.  These creatures remind me of invisible monsters.  You can see ‘em, but your Dolphin DX4 automatic pool cleaner will wish you’d run them out of town.  And fast.  He just can’t do his job, since he can’t grab the walls properly.  So, there’s the rundown on the Algae Gang.  Next up, we’ll be looking at ways to chase these bad dudes out of town.  Ahem.  I mean, out of your pool. 

Reason #3 – Why a site visit!

Here’s the situation we don’t want to find our customers in – opening the front door of your home to find the zoning officer standing there with a Notice of Violation.  We know from experience there are zoning ordinances known as setbacks; it’s a detail we never ignore.  Setbacks refer to the distance from the edge of any building or structure set back from a property lot line, road or street.  They are determined by your governing municipality.  They are meant to keep the neighborhood looking tidy and also, to ensure each neighbor’s privacy.  Nobody likes it when the neighbor’s stuff seems to encroach upon their own space.  In some neighborhoods, setbacks can also determine or even limit the size, shape or type of your pool.  Each municipality’s zoning ordinances are as different and unique as each municipality and neighborhood.  When we stand in your yard, Gary Thull Pools helps you determine and lay out a pool design that works with the zoning ordinances and specifically, the setback limitations of your municipality.  We know you’re not a cookie-cutter family in a cookie-cutter neighborhood and that’s why Gary Thull Pools isn’t a cookie-cutter pool company.  We meet those zoning requirements as we work with you from design to swim, so you can have peace of mind as you lounge in your backyard oasis!

Here’s how to get in touch with us to set up your very own site visit to begin the design-to-swim process: Phone: (814) 355-1009 (There’s a real person on the other end, one that doesn’t have a foreign accent.)

Email:  (There’s a live person, checking this email regularly.)

We look forward to hearing from you!