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7 Ways to Enjoy Your Hot Tub in the Fall

Enjoy Your Hot Tub

Fall is arguably one of the best times of the year to enjoy your hot tub. As the temperatures fall, the warm bubbly water provides a haven for relaxing at the end of a long day.

Unlike in winter, you can step outside of the hot tub without feeling like you need to rush for the warmth inside your home. You can go from hot tub to a game of badminton, and back into the tub, without even feeling the need to grab a towel. The cool autumn air provides a refreshing contrast to the water, without feeling frigid.

Want to make your hot tub even more rewarding this fall? Here are 7 great ways to elevate the experience.

1) Pumpkin spice hot tub

You love coffee. You love your hot tub. And in the fall, you probably also love your pumpkin spice lattes, right?

So, why not combine it all? There’s nothing like stepping into a bubbly hot tub on a brisk fall morning, especially when you have some delicious caffeinated beverages with you. Fire up your espresso maker or hit your local coffee shop early, and then soak in the hot tub to enjoy the morning on your terms.

2) Halloween hot tub party

What better way to make your Halloween party memorable than incorporating your hot tub? We wrote an entire post about this last year, with tips on creating spooky invitations, decorations and even making your hot tub water “bloody.”

3) Scary movie night

Movies in the hot tub are so much fun. If you don’t have an outdoor TV in your spa area, don’t worry. It’s just as fun to make your own DIY outdoor movie screen, which you can position toward your hot tub.

All you need is a projector, a bed sheet, some speakers and a love for horror flicks!

4) Bird-watching breakfast

This probably sounds like the BEST IDEA EVER, or the most boring, depending on your age and interests. But if you’re into a mellow activity like identifying your backyard birds, then why not do it from the hot tub? Bring the binoculars and a bird identification book, and you’re all set.

For extra enjoyment, do it during the birds’ morning feeding time, and top it off with your own hearty breakfast, served before or after the bird-watching.

5) Grab a book and some hot apple cider

If this isn’t cozy, then what is? Whether you do it alone or with family, your hot tub is a great place for enjoying a good read and your favorite fall drinks.

6) Game day in the hot tub

This one’s for you, sports fans!

Just like “movie night” above, game day is another great opportunity to combine your two favorite things: your hot tub and your favorite teams.

7) Soak up the autumn colors

Who says you need all kinds of extra stimuli to enjoy your hot tub?

Sometimes, the best way to enjoy it is to sit back and take in your surroundings. Fall makes this even more special, as the changing leaves provide a beautiful backdrop to your serene, backyard spa retreat.

Should You Buy a Swimming Pool in the Fall?

Buy a Swimming Pool


We often hear people say it’s better to buy a swimming pool in the “off-season,” such as fall or winter. Their reasoning is that you’ll find better deals during this time, because the demand is lower and people are no longer thinking about pools. But this isn’t necessarily true.

A lot of factors go into the cost of your pool, beyond the time of year when you put down the deposit. While sales promotions and financing offers pop up throughout the year—and by all means, take advantage of them when they do—you have many other things to consider beyond the price.

Our advice: buy a swimming pool when you’re ready. Don’t assume prices will go down next season or that some amazing deal will come along. Instead, use your budget and your desired timeline to determine when to get started on your dream pool.

Here are some tips:

Don’t wait: If you’re ready to buy a pool now, then don’t put it off. Whether it’s September or the middle of winter, there’s no wrong time to start planning your dream pool, if you’re ready. Here’s one important reason why…

Don’t assume prices will fall: Historically, they don’t. Aside from sales and special offices, the prices of swimming pool installation rise over time, as they do with every other product. If you look at a graph of swimming pool costs over the last few decades, the trend is upward, and it will likely continue in that direction, alongside prices in every other market.

Do your research first: If this is your first swimming pool, take the time to understand your options: above-ground, in-ground, shapes, vinyl, fiberglass and so on. Each one has its unique advantages, costs and installation timelines. Educate yourself on your options and ask questions, so you can be sure to choose the pool that’s right for your family, budget and backyard.

Be financially ready: The worst time to buy a swimming pool is when you’re not ready to do so financially. A lot of factors will affect the cost of your pool: not just the pool itself, but the excavation, grading, accessories, landscaping, fencing, and so on. Get a good ballpark quote right from the start. And as you begin choosing on your options, get more accurate projections of the total cost.

Determine your target date: For many homeowners, the decision to finally get a pool is driven by the desire to have it ready by a certain date, i.e. for the family reunion next year or for a graduation party. This is actually a perfectly fine way to plan your pool, provided you’re allowing enough time. Just make sure you know what your target completion date is, as provided by the installers. If you want to have a pool ready for your big celebrations, getting started in the fall is a good idea—don’t wait.

Have questions about buying a pool?

We’re happy to go over your options and provide the answers you need to make your dream pool a reality. Give us a call or stop by any of our three locations in Central PA.

3 Swimming Pool Myths: Let’s Set the Record Straight

3 Swimming Pool Myths

Is it true that you shouldn’t go swimming after eating?

This is an often-debated question that’s been around for decades. And even in today’s Internet-centric world, people continue to spout off their beliefs without actually looking up the answer. It happens at the pool, at the beach, wherever there is the chance of mixing food with water (gasp!).

But like feeding gremlins after midnight, not all urban legends are fact. Today, we look at a few of the most common myths about pools and swimming, so we can finally dispel some of the fiction.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Myth #1: You shouldn’t swim after eating.

Sorry, Grandma, you’re right about a lot of things, but not this one.

The myth goes like this: If you’ve just eaten lunch, a sandwich or any other food, you need to wait 30 minutes to an hour before going in the pool. Otherwise, your muscles will cramp so badly you could drown.

But here’s the truth: If you’re waiting an hour every time you eat, you’re just wasting time that you could be spending in the water.

Studies show there is no evidence that eating before swimming (or other exercise) causes cramping. Even if you have a young child who, coincidentally, cramps up after getting in the pool, they shouldn’t lose control over their bodies (which should also float).

What if a child was in the deep end, and he couldn’t swim, and he started to panic? Is it possible that could turn into a dangerous situation? Absolutely – but you can’t blame the food. There are numerous other pool safety rules here that could (and should) prevent such an accident from occurring.

Myth #2: Pool water is disinfected, so it’s okay to swallow.

A little bit of chlorinated water isn’t going to kill you (or do anything at all, really), but that doesn’t mean it’s something you want to do. As a pool owner, you already know that lots of chemicals go into the water to keep it clean and clear. But while those chemicals help to kill waterborne germs, they’re not for drinking.

Most adults wouldn’t care to get pool water in their mouths anyway (especially in public pools, where you don’t know how others are choosing to empty their bladders). But children need to be reminded to avoid getting water in their mouths and not to drink it if they do.

Myth #3: Chlorine turns your hair green.

The origins of this one do have some truth, but the statement itself is inaccurate.

People with blond hair, especially if it’s been bleached, can attest to having a greenish tint in their hair after spending long periods of time in the pool. Even brunettes can experience it from time to time. But the fact is, the chlorine is not the culprit.

The green actually comes from metals in the water, which may be present for a few different reasons. Some metals, such as copper, are common in pool chemicals to help prevent algae. But metals can also leach into the water from pool fixtures.

If you’re dealing with green hair, you can usually remove it easily by shampooing your hair right after the pool. Wearing a swim cap can also help prevent it from occurring in the first place.

6 Advantages of Endless Pools

Endless Pools

What if you could combine the space-saving benefits of a spa with the exercise benefits of a swimming pool? A way to soak, relax and swim “laps” – without the need for a full-size pool. A way to enjoy fun, healthy aquatic time, by yourself or with your family, at virtually any time of year.

What we’re describing are Endless Pools (sometimes also referred to as swim spas, swim machines or counter current pools).

Endless Pools provide all the advantages of a full-size swimming pool, but in a compact design that looks more like a hot tub. How is that possible, you ask? How does somebody swim in a pool that’s as little as 15 feet long? Simple. Just add a current.

Endless Pools are made with a hydraulically powered propulsion system, which creates a laminar current of up to 5,000 gallons per minute. The current is wider than your body and deeper than your stroke, which means you can literally swim in place. Think of it kind of like a treadmill, but for swimming. The water moves around you, resulting in a swim current that’s free of turbulence.

The best part is—you can control the current to your ability or performance goals. But even on “full speed,” it feels like swimming on open water.

Why consider an Endless Pool? Here are just some of the numerous benefits:

1) A Full Swim Experience without a Full-Size Pool
If you love to swim, but don’t have the space or desire for a full-size pool, then an Endless Pool is an excellent option. Their small size (ranging from 15 to 20 feet long for the Fitness System models) allows them to be placed almost anywhere—including indoors.

2) Excellent Water Exercise for All Abilities
Endless Pools are great for aquatic exercise. Whether you swim against the current or do other water exercises, these pools are an excellent way to ease joint stiffness, relax sore muscles and build strength. Just like a full-size swimming pool, exercising in an Endless Pool can help improve your endurance and coordination. They’re a great tool for swimmers of all abilities, from casual to competitive!

3) Environmentally Friendly
Because they’re a fraction of the size of traditional swimming pools, Endless Pools use far less water and fewer chemicals to keep them clean. That also means…

4) Simpler Maintenance
Endless Pools are easy to maintain and require fewer steps to keep them clean. Most models will only require a few minutes each week to test the water and add some regular household bleach. That means less time cleaning and more time enjoying your pool!

5) Great Fun for the Whole Family
Despite their compact size, Endless Pools offer room for several members of your family. It’s a great way to encourage exercise, relaxation and family communication. Plus, it’s just plain old fun!

6) Effective Aquatic Therapy
Aquatic therapy is ideal for a variety of medical conditions. The low-impact, low-stress environment of an Endless Pool is perfect for physical therapy exercises that increase flexibility, strengthen muscles, improve balance and reduce pain. Many models can also be equipped with additional, optional accessories, like an underwater treadmill for low-impact walking and running.

Click here to learn more about Endless Pools, or give us a call for more information.

Why Buy a New Hot Tub in July?

New Hot Tub in July

On a scorching summer day in July, you’re probably not thinking about soaking in a steaming hot tub – but that’s exactly when you should buy one. Some of the best deals on hot tubs arrive during the summer (as you’ll see below). That’s partly because of the lower demand during the summer months. When the weather heats up, most people are thinking about taking a dip in their swimming pools. This naturally leads to less interest in spas during the summer months and an overstock of inventory. That’s good news for buyers, because manufacturers and hot tub dealers will often announce their biggest deals of the year to drum up business. That means you can grab a brand new hot tub for far less than what you’d pay if you waited until the cool weather returns in the fall.

So, what kind of deals are we talking about?

Just look at some of the offers you’ll find this month during Crystal Pools’ 26th Annual Jacuzzis in July Truckload Sale. From July 19 to July 31, 2017, we’re literally bringing in TRUCKLOADS of new Jacuzzis at some of the best prices you’re going to see in 2017. It’s our single biggest Jacuzzi sale of the year, so if you’ve been planning for a new hot tub, now is absolutely the best time to buy!

Here’s what you need to know:

Jacuzzis in July Truckload Sale: July 19-31, 2017

– 0% Interest for up to 60 months: Qualified buyers who finance their hot tub can defer interest for up to 60 months! That’s up to 5 whole years of zero interest on select Jacuzzi models, which ultimately means more money in your pocket.

– Up to $1,500 in factory rebates: On select models, Jacuzzi is hooking you up with a factory rebate of up to $1,500 off the retail price. That’s a huge discount, with no strings attached, which you can claim simply for buying your hot tub between July 19 and 31, 2017.

– Truckloads of additional savings on in-stock models: We’re not kidding when we say these are the biggest deals of the year. In fact, the sale is so big, we’re throwing a special parking lot tent sale at the Hummelstown PA Giant (Route 39, north of Hershey) from July 20-24. Radio host John Wilsbach will be doing a live action broadcast from the tent on Saturday, July 22, from 9am to noon. It’s an event you don’t want to miss! But if you can’t make it, don’t worry—our July specials will remain in effect through the end of the month at all 3 of our Central PA locations: Elizabethtown / Hershey, Mechanicsburg and Hershey.

– Free delivery and setup: Another reason to buy your Jacuzzi this month: we’ll deliver and set up your new hot tub at NO cost. Traditionally, those are extra expenses that need to be tacked onto the price of your hot tub, but we’ll gladly eat the cost during our Jacuzzis in July Sale.

– Free upgrades: We’re offering complimentary upgrades on select hot tub features and packages! Be sure to stop by the tent sale or call one of our locations for details.

– Free removal of your old hot tub: Another expense you don’t have to worry about! If you have an existing hot tub that needs to be removed to make room for your beautiful new Jacuzzi, we’ll gladly haul it away at no cost to you.

July will be over before you know it, so be sure to stop by any of our 3 locations as soon as you can. Don’t wait for cooler weather to return. July is simply the best time to buy the new Jacuzzi you’ve been dreaming about. See you at the sale!

Danger: What NOT to Do in Your Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool

In a recent post, we focused on 6 super-fun pool activities for kids. But no discussion of pool fun is complete without also addressing pool safety.

When you’re in the middle of a silly game of Noodle Joust, it’s easy for kids to lose sight of proper pool safety. That’s why it’s so important to set strict rules for using the pool—not just for the children, but also for the adults. Avoiding injury and other accidents in the swimming pool is actually pretty easy once you have the right rules in place. As long as you’re constantly reminding your kids of the importance of pool safety, and also supervising when they’re alone in the pool, then you can be sure your pool remains a place of fun, not danger.

Here are 9 things you should NOT do in your swimming pool.

Don’t leave children unattended.
Keep in mind that accidents can happen to swimmers of any age, including teens and even adults. This is why experts argue that nobody should swim alone, regardless of age. If you’re going to have kids of any age in the pool, especially by themselves, make sure there’s an adult to supervise.

Don’t run along the outside of the pool.
Slips and falls are one of the most common causes of pool injuries. Prohibit running around the perimeter and you’ll significantly reduce the risk of an accident.

Don’t allow horseplay.
If that game of Noodle Joust gets a little out of hand, it’s time to call a timeout. Rowdy behavior and any activity involving dunking or throwing people in the water should NOT be allowed.

Don’t use glass.
Drinking glasses are an accident waiting to happen. (That includes wine glasses!) Use plastic containers instead.

Don’t drink and swim.
Let’s face it – most adult pool parties have adult beverages. But you should think twice before entering a pool while inebriated. Alcohol will impair your motor skills, your breathing and your orientation, increasing the risk of an accident.

Don’t bring electrical devices near the pool.
Sounds obvious, but some pool owners still make this mistake! Electrical shock can and does happen. Keep anything electrical—radios, lighting and so on—a safe distance from the pool.

Don’t let your pool get gross.
Keep your pool properly maintained with the appropriate chemicals. A well-maintained pool doesn’t just keep the water clear—it prevents health hazards too.

Don’t leave your pool area open and unsecure.
Not even once. Make sure the pool is fenced in according to local laws, and keep the area locked whenever it’s not in use.

Don’t forget to drink water.
You might not feel thirsty, but that doesn’t mean you’re not dehydrated. Encourage all swimmers to take a break from the pool to drink some water every half hour or so.

Remember: accidents can happen at any time. By practicing (and enforcing) the right rules, you’ll ensure that everyone stays safe while using the pool.

6 Fun Swimming Pool Activities for Kids

Swimming Pool Activities

Summer pool parties are just around the corner! Now is a great time to start planning fun activities to keep the kids active and entertained in the pool, all season long.

Don’t worry—you don’t need to buy a bunch of expensive toys. Some of the most fun pool games are also the simplest, and many involve supplies that you probably already have lying around the house. Other supplies can be bought at your local dollar store or department store for just a few bucks.

Ready to play? Let’s dive in…

1) Beach Ball Race

Super simple: this is just a race from one side of the pool to another, but with beach balls! Each child gets a beach ball and pushes it to the other side. No throwing allowed—their hands must continue to touch the ball. For added difficulty, add more laps.

2) Marco Polo 2.0 (Animal noises!)

This one is especially popular with younger kids. It’s just like the Marco Polo game you already love, but with animal noises to make it super silly. One swimmer keeps their eyes closed and says an animal name, i.e. “Monkey.” Then, all other swimmers must respond with a monkey noise to reveal their location. The objective is for the eyes-closed swimmer to tag one of the other swimmers without opening their eyes. The other swimmers can swim away, but can’t leave the pool. The person who is tagged is the next to keep their eyes closed. Use a different animal each round.

3) Race for the Ping Pongs

There’s something about ping pongs in swimming pools that’s super fun! Get a big bag (usually available for only a few bucks) and toss them all in the pool at once. All the kids jump in to collect them. The child who collects the most wins!

4) Noodle Joust

Kids love this game because it would never be allowed inside the house. Two children sit on top of their parents’ (or older kids’) shoulders and use pool noodles to joust with each other. The objective is to knock the other person off the shoulders. It’s okay if the joust starts to look more like a chicken fight—that’s all part of the fun, and you can set the rules however you prefer.

5) Coin Dive

This one is just like the Race for the Ping Pongs, but with coins, which will obviously sink to the bottom of the pool instead of floating on the water. Simply toss a bunch of change in the pool and let your kids have at it! The person who collects the most money wins.

6) What Time is It, Mr. Fox?

This game is fun on land, but even more fun in the water. One child is Mr. Fox and stands in the pool at one end with his back facing the other kids, who stand at the other end. All the kids shout together, “What time is it, Mr. Fox?” Mr. Fox responds with “5 o’clock” (or any other time, where each hour represents one large step toward Mr. Fox. So, for example, “1 o’clock” would be one step forward). The kids continue to ask what time it is, moving closer to Mr. Fox, until he decides to respond with “dinnertime!” He then turns toward the kids and chases them back to the other side. If he tags someone before they reach the other side, that child becomes Mr. Fox for the next round.

What to Look for in a Swimming Pool Installer

Swimming Pool Installer

When investing in a backyard swimming pool, you need to make sure it’s installed properly by experienced professionals. Otherwise, you’ll be dumping money into costly pool repairs for years to come.

But what makes one pool installer better than another? How can you be sure that you’re dealing with experts who know what they’re doing?

Here’s what to look for:


Buying a swimming pool is a big financial decision. Why trust the installation to someone who has never done it before (or even a company that has only done it a few times)?

Even with the right tools and instructions, an inexperienced pool installer is likely to make serious mistakes that will cost you big and also delay the completion. That applies to both above-ground and in-ground pools.

When comparing installers, always stick to companies that have extensive, verifiable experience. The more, the better.

Pool options

A greater variety of pool layouts, styles and options is often a good indication of greater expertise. Also, it means you’ll have a greater number of options to choose from, so you can get the perfect pool for your budget, needs and preferences.

Pool Brands

Why would the brand of the pool matter when choosing an installer? For above-ground pools, some manufacturers are extremely selective in choosing the dealers that are permitted to sell their products. In some cases, dealers must meet strict requirements for installation experience, skill and other factors. So when you find an installer that’s an approved dealer of a top brand, you’ll know you’re working with a professional.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are a great way to determine the quality of service and skill you can expect from an installer. Look for reviews on independent, third-party sites, such as Google and Facebook. While a few bad reviews don’t necessarily reflect a bad apple, be wary of companies that have significant negative feedback. Also, look past the star ratings and read the reviews in full to see specifics about each customer’s experience.

References & Referrals

Go beyond the written reviews and actually talk to the installer’s customers. Ask for references that have agreed to be contacted by prospective customers like yourself. Since you’re getting these references from the installer, the feedback will probably all be positive. But these conversations are still valuable, because you’ll be able to ask questions and get more specifics about their experience.

It also doesn’t hurt to ask around! Ask friends, family and coworkers if they can recommend an installer they’ve used.


If you’re calling several different installers, you’ll know pretty quickly which ones are professional and which aren’t. The best pool installers will treat you with respect, courtesy and kindness at every interaction, including that very first phone call. If you find a company that’s reluctant to answer your questions, slow to return your phone calls or simply doesn’t know the meaning of good customer service, then it’s probably a good idea to look elsewhere.

Contact our pros today!

Founded in 1964, Crystal Pools is one of Central PA’s oldest and most trusted providers of in-ground and above-ground swimming pools, spas and hot tubs. Our skilled installers have years of experience and are ready to build your dream pool. Contact us today!