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!

Life Lately

Life Lately

If this were a personal blog, perhaps you’d occasionally stop in to see what our family has been up to lately. Hey, you can still check in to see what the Gary Thull Pools family has been doing. So, sit tight, it’s “Life Lately,” a blogging staple in the virtual world and now here, too!

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Over in Port Matilda, the hole for a Blue Hawaiian Fiberglass pool has been dug. It’s a 16’x33’ Sunburst style. (And, it’s a real beaut!) We’ve sweated while setting the base and Tuesday was the big day! We’ve got our ducks in a row and all hands are on deck, the pool has been set. We are so excited about the fiberglass pool option. There are beautiful styles available, with sizes for every family’s needs.

The guys have been busy installing a new Pentair Master Temp heater on another project in State College. Elsewhere, they dug a trench for water and electrical lines on a renovation project in  the Valley Vista area. We love taking well-loved pools and giving them a new lease on life. Over in Gettysburg, the crew is putting the finishing touches on another campground pool. We can’t wait to share pictures of that finished project!

It’s only a few weeks into Spring and we’ve been BUSY. The excitement is mounting, just like the temperatures!

Think SWIM with Gary Thull Pools!

SwimmingTop Ten Reasons to Swim with your Kids

 If you’re swimming with your kids:

 #1 – You know where they are.

#2 – You know that you are investing in your family.

#3 – You know you are influencing them for good.

#4 – You can rest assured that your kids will be comfortable in the water.

#5 – You can have analog time – no technology!

#6 – You all can get some good Vitamin D, i.e. Sunshine!

#7 – You can teach your teenager how to check the water.

#8 – You will be using your pool investment wisely.

#9 – You will all be getting good exercise.

#10 – You can finally beat your teenager at something – a cannon ball contest or water basketball.

 There you have it. Get your pool opened so you can get swimming with your kids!

Dream, Dream, Dream

Daydreaming in Spring

It’s spring time, a tease of warmth, with the chill of winter still hanging on.  With the increasing sunshine, our thoughts are turning toward the swim season.  We’d better get planning, so tonight, cozy up in your favorite chair with your favorite “cuppa” and let’s daydream a little.  Let’s put our imaginations to work for what we want from our pool this year.

  • Is this the year that your family is hosting the big Fourth of July bash?  
  • Are you going to put a little more oomph into your exercise routine by swimming regularly?  
  • How about helping your children get some good, solid practice of their water safety skills?  
  • Is a stay-cation in your summer plans?  
  • Are you hoping to do a little more spontaneous entertaining?  
  • Does mom want to try out some water aerobics routines?
  • Will you be gathering your family poolside more often this summer?  
  • Are you hoping to get your teen moving by embarking on regular neighborhood pool volleyball/basketball games?

Gary Thull Pools wants to be a part of your year!  It’s time to call us.  Let’s talk plans.  Let’s dream about your back yard.  Let’s make your daydreams reality.  We can make it happen!  Contact us today.


Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

Most folks find the holidays to be an excellent time for reflection.  With the advent of Thanksgiving, we at Gary Thull Pools have been counting our manifold blessings.  Firstly, we are most thankful for our faith, which is something that sustains us through every season of life and business.  In addition, gratitude overcomes us as we think of our family, our employees, our suppliers, our customers and all the brilliant people that pitch in day after day.  We value people here at Gary Thull Pools and we value their time and the knowledge they share with us.  Every day we encounter people brimming with creativity, people bursting with innovation and people doggedly determined to get the job done right.  It is that zestful perseverance that makes Gary Thull Pools a thriving company.  We’re thankful for all those that claim a part in that.  So, for people, for growth, for lessons learned and for every part of this journey, we’re so grateful.  Happy Thanksgiving to you, from the Gary Thull Pools family!

Winter Months

Hello Readers!  Winter isn’t exactly prime swim season, if you know what I mean.  It’s much better spent with feet up beside a warm, crackling fire.  Yes, we do sneak in a few moments’ rest and relaxation here and there, but really, this time of year you’ll find us dodging snowflakes as information swirls around us.  We spend these cold months preparing for our favorite time of year – swim season!  So, what exactly have we been up to?  Learning more and sharing that knowledge with others.  Here’s the scoop:

We exhibited at the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) show where Doreen’s quilt stole the show at the annual auction.  She put over 100 hours of work into that masterpiece and it raised $4,000 PCOA education fund.  It was a fantastic time to make some new friends and reconnect with some of our favorite clients.

During the month of December, Gary & Doreen attended several distributor seminars, gleaning valuable insight on products, running a business and marketing their fine reputation.  Various other employees have attended chemical, electric and equipment seminars as well.

A Gary Thull Pools entourage just returned from the Northeast Spa & Pool Association’s Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show a few days ago.  The two days spent attending classes, combing the show floor and learning about innovative new products and processes were certainly productively spent.  Running into industry friends was a great plus too.  Even one of our younger crew members experienced the overwhelming feeling we all have had at our first glance of the packed show floor.  Talk about information overload!  He came away with a smile though.  Upon their return, Gary was home for about 10 hours before hitting the road again to take in a concrete coating seminar in Ohio.

There are still more exciting opportunities on the horizon for us.  A Blue Hawaiian Fiberglass pool seminar, a Hayward CAT controller class, a Pentair Equipment seminar and a BioGuard meeting are all on the agenda for Gary, Doreen and various crew members.  Additionally, we are thrilled to be exhibiting at the Central PA Builders Association Home & Garden Show again this year.

Perhaps you feel a little tired when you see what Gary Thull Pools has been up to.  Never fear!  We feel energized and more equipped for the warm weather ahead.  We’re anxious to get our hands dirty, making your family’s pool experience better than ever.

Water Safety

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  The old saying is as true today as it ever was.  The number one cause of accidental death of children between one and five years of age is drowning.  Being that Gary Thull Pools builds swimming pools, water safety is a really big deal to us.  We want the pools we build to be a means of bringing families closer together year after year.  Safe water recreational practices make that possible.  And, the National Water Safety Month Coalition, along with the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, have declared May as National Water Safety Month, in order to help spread the word on the importance of water safety.  In their succinct words, “Water safety is everyone’s responsibility.”  We totally agree!  We also feel that water safety is something that should be practiced daily. That said, we’d like to share a few common sense tips on the subject.

First, let’s start off with education.  Education for children should definitely include swimming lessons.  Your local YMCA and/or Red Cross, usually offer very informative and effective programs.  Children gain confidence from lots of practice in the water.  Adults should review good pool rules with children early and often.  Things like, “Never swim alone,” “Don’t dive,” “Never swim at night,” “Don’t swim in unfamiliar water” and “Use a life jacket if you aren’t confident” are all things we learn in our childhood swimming lessons and carry with us throughout life.  Adult education should also include basic knowledge of CPR and first aid procedures, which are also available from your local Red Cross.  Nobody wants to be caught flat-footed or uncertain in an emergency situation.  When Mom or Dad isn’t around, a babysitter ought to be fully briefed on all pool rules and procedures.  During parties and get-togethers, it’s a great idea to have one person designated to keep an eye on the children in and around the pool. Frequent head counts are a must!  Gary Thull Pools believes that education will furnish people of all ages with the knowledge needed to safely enjoy their pool for years to come.

Next, let’s discuss emergency preparedness.  Aside from the obvious first aid kit, it seems sensible to have a poolside tool kit, which would include items such as a charged, cordless phone, scissors to cut clothing, pool cover or hair if necessary and a rescue flotation device.  Additionally, posted CPR instructions help everyone to feel more informed and make it easy to review often. 

Lastly, you can keep your pool even safer by storing floating toys outside the pool so as to minimize the temptation for young children. Furniture and other climb-able objects should be stored away from your fence.  Furthermore, there are many outstanding prevention mechanisms on the market these days.  Having your family in mind, Gary Thull Pools highly recommends automatic pool covers with key or touch pads, as well as door alarms.  Door alarms are often mandatory when your house serves as the fourth side of your fencing.  Many municipalities have stringent code requirements regarding fences and self-closing, self-latching gates.  Also, Virginia Graeme Baker-compliant main drain covers are essential.  The Pentair IntelliFlo VS SVRS model is the first swimming pool pump to feature a built-in Safety Vacuum Release System that detects drain blockage and automatically shuts the pump off with variable speed setting. That’s pool technology at its finest!  Here at Gary Thull Pools, we’re glad it’s National Water Safety Month because we want to do our part to increase awareness that “Water safety is everyone’s responsibility!”

Giving Back

Gary Thull is going to AUCTIONEER???

Let me introduce you to a new friend of Gary Thull Pools. His name is Dillon. Dillon is 25 years old. He’s an active young man, who keeps himself busy. He likes the Great Outdoors. He enjoys hunting. He even runs his own DJ business on the side. We, at Gary Thull Pools found that we have something in common with Dillon. We’re outdoorsy-folk too! We also enjoy helping people and we have a good time while we’re doing it. So, when Charlie, from Dogwood Acres Campground called us to see if we were interested in helping out with a venture of his, we enthusiastically said, “YES!” You see, Dillon has had cerebral palsy from birth, but he doesn’t let that keep him from doing things he loves. Dillon would love to have a special wheelchair, more suitable for getting around in the Great Outdoors. His friends and family are generous and hard-working people, who have already raised $12,000 toward this 4 wheel-drive wheelchair. And, our good friends Charlie and Lucille, over at Dogwood Acres Campground, want to help them raise the other $10,000. Together, they’ve organized a day full of activities, run by a great team of volunteers. Specifically, there will be an auction, where the proceeds will benefit Dillon and his new wheelchair fund. This is where Gary Thull Pools comes in. Back in 1978, Gary graduated from auctioneering school. It’s a skill he has used since then for work, charities and even entertaining the grandchildren. (Ask him to do his Donald Duck auctioneer imitation sometime.) So, Gary will be doing the auctioneering. We’d love for you to come and join us. Auctions are great, hometown kind of fun, especially when there’s a good cause involved and a man with Gary Thull’s sense of humor at the microphone! Additionally, Charlie and Lucille have mentioned that there will be food and many other activities. For more information, check out the Dogwood Acres Campground Facebook page and the information below. We can’t wait to see you there!

Who: For Dillon, hosted by Dillon’s Friends & Family

What: Auction to raise funds for Dillon’s new outdoors-friendly wheelchair

When: Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Where: Dogwood Acres Campground 4500 Enola Rd Newville, PA

PS – If you simply can’t make the event, but would still like to contribute to this cause, you may make a cash donation to Dillon Strouse at any Cornerstone Bank or by mailing a check directly to: Dillon Strouse – Wheel Chair Fund 15 Bridgewater Rd Newville, PA 17241

The #2 Reason Why We Always Request a Site Visit

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The #2 reason for always doing a site visit – ACCESS:

Our preference here at Gary Thull Pools is to have a well thought out design-to-swim plan and process.  Many refer to the coordination of details this requires as “logistics.”  The logistics of building your pool includes considering access.  We always visit your site in order to determine if there will be any access issues.  We want to know: is there adequate area for necessary equipment to get in and out of your yard safely?   All kinds of pools require varying types and sizes of equipment, from wheel-barrows to skid-loaders and backhoes.  And, if you’re leaning toward our new line of Blue Hawaiian fiberglass pools by Latham, a safe route for an oversized load and crane must be available.  So, let us check out the available access in your backyard.  Invite us to your place to begin the design-to-swim process.  We’ll take a thorough look around and figure out a way to get the necessary equipment in and out without a problem.  That’s what happens when you place your backyard in the hands of Gary Thull Pools.

Top Three of Ten Reasons for a Site Visit

Top Three of Ten Reasons for a Site Visit

Gary Thull Pools wants you to know how smooth the design-to-swim process can be when you choose a company like ours.  We’ve got loads of experience that we love putting to good use.  So, today and for the next couple weeks, we’d like to share with you the top three reasons why we always start things off on the right foot – with our feet in your backyard, visiting the very site of your future pool.

Gary Thull Pools realizes that your pool is your personalized experience.  It must match and meet your needs, wants and dreams, not the Jones’.  How can we better know those needs, wants and dreams without being there, in person?  We enjoy chatting with you, scoping out your yard and discussing options.  That’s why we will always visit your location before we quote you a price.  And, when you meet with us face-to-face, you find out just how much our expertise works for you.  Our experience has taught us that one key factor in discovering the best layout for your pool is always taking into account a location’s elevation.  For example, the presence of large elevation changes in the topography of your yard present certain challenges that may need to be addressed.  Varying elevation determines how and where a pool can be set.  For instance, a retaining wall may be necessary to create a flat area adequate for the installation of your pool.  We will gladly discuss any of your yard’s possible challenges.  We can reassure you with our smart solutions.  We’re fantastic at offering creative ideas for all types and layouts of yards.  We brainstorm together – really listening to the ideas you have.  It may seem like we can make impossibility, a reality.  Maybe we can.  After all, we’d never know these things, until our feet are in your backyard.