Swimming Pool Accessories Buyer’s Guide
Swimming Pool Accessories Buyer’s Guide
One of the first things you realize as a new pool owner is that there are many accoutrements available for swimming pools, with features and benefits to make your pool more attractive, easier to manage, safer or more fun to use.
Pool Accessories is a sub-category of pool supplies, along with pool chemicals, covers and equipment. Within the pool accessory category, there are hundreds of different products, in 10 sub-sub categories.
Pool Cleaning Tools
To keep your pool looking its best, you will have to do some regular cleaning, and keep a small inventory of pool cleaning tools. Even if you have an automatic pool cleaner, you may find a need to use a pool vacuum hose and vacuum head on occasion, and you will certainly need a skimmer net to clean the surface and a pool brush to brush the pool walls and floor. For pools with heavy leaf debris, tools like leaf rakes, leaf gulpers and in-line leaf strainers are helpful. To use these tools you will need a good telescopic pool pole. Cleaning tools like poles, nets, hoses and brushes tend to last about 5 years before they become worn out and need to be replaced. Also sold in the pool cleaning tools area are accessory tools like the Pool Scrubbing Mitt, the Slime Bag, the Skim Bag, the Stain Eraser and Pool Stone cleaning blocks. We also have the Filter Flosser and Filter Wand for cartridge filter cleaning. We carry pool pole hooks, pole parts, and those V-shaped butterfly clips to connect tools to your pool pole. Pool cleaning accessories play an important role in keeping your pool clean, and in dealing with specific cleanliness issues in your pool.
Surface Prep & Repair
Swimming pools have a lot of surface area, a variety of which need special attention from time to time. For painted pool and deck surfaces, we have Acid Magic and Olympic Prep Magic as an alternative to acid washing with muriatic acid. Removes minerals, scale and roughens the surface slightly. Also important for pool and deck paint prep is removing surface oils, and neutralizing the acid, both easily done with our TSP surface cleaner. In addition, we also have paint application kits, complete with everything needed for pool painting. But aside from paints and surface prep products, we have a large amount of repair products in this category. For patching concrete cracks, we carry a hydraulic cement called Cement Patch and for large cracks, Epoxy Patch - modified for strength and flexibility. To finish off crack repairs, use EZ Patch 1 pool plaster mix, just add water and you can make above-or-under water plaster patches. We also carry EZ Patch 4, Tile Grout to regrout your pool tiles and skimmers. Here you will also find pool caulking supplies, leak detection and repair supply, pool base (vermiculite), vinyl patch kits and silicone adhesive and sealants.
Winter Pool Supplies
For those who live in the snowbelt, or areas of the country where pool winterization is a common practice, we have a category of winter pool supplies and accessories, for closing the pool. Winterizing a pool involves lowering the water and blowing out the plumbing lines. For this purpose, we have the Cyclone blower/vac (also used as a vac for setting vinyl pool liners), hoses and hose adapters, to blow out all the lines from one skimmer. Once the pipes are blown out to remove the water, the skimmers and returns are plugged with winter freeze plugs, to keep water from re-entering the pipes. For those who don’t blow out the lines, non-toxic pool antifreeze can be used to keep water in pipes from freezing, and the aboveground pool equipment (pump, filter, heater) is drained by removing the drain plugs. As the pool is not filtered for 4-8 months, a good fitting winter pool cover is used to block sun and keep out debris. These are available as floating winter covers, or as safety covers, and both types have their own accessories and accoutrements. Finally winter pool chemicals, specially formulated for cold temperatures, are needed to keep your water fresh, and prevent winter stains.
Steps & Ladders
Getting in and out of your pool safely and easily is the purpose of pool ladders and drop-in pool steps. Pool ladders are available in residential and commercial models, and in stainless steel or thick ABS thermoplastic. We carry inground pool ladders and hand rails by SR Smith, Saftron, and Inter-Fab, including their new line of Designer rails and ladders. Ladders and rails have their own accessories too, such as ladder treads, escutcheon plates, anchor sockets, ladder bumpers, hardware and sacrificial anodes for salt systems. For inground pools without walk-in steps, we also have two drop-in pool step models that make entry and exit a snap. For above ground pools, we have a big selection of ladders and pool steps. Locking pool ladders and A-frame ladder systems, up to ultra-safe pool entry systems with self closing gates, which can also be combined with our pool-side decking system. Above ground steps and ladders also have their own group of accessories and replacement parts, including step pads, to protect the pool liner, removable step ballast weights, and ladder handrail deck mount anchors. We even have pool exit steps for your pets and woodland critters with the Frog Log and Pet Step.
Diving Boards & Slides
In addition to ladders and steps, Diving Boards and Slides are found in our deck equipment category. We sell complete diving boards with the base from SR Smith and Inter-Fab, and we have a large selection of replacement diving boards in 6’, 8’, 10’ sizes for residential and 14’ and 16’ commercial diving boards and stands. We also have the new Salt Pool Jump System, made entirely with corrosion-free materials to withstand salt water. For more fun pool action, we have pool slides in all sizes, from mild to wild, starting with our starter-slides, 3 models of inflatable pool slides for small children. Next largest is the Zoomerang slide, a low-profile slide that is perfect for small pools, even above ground pools. From there, the fun escalates quickly, and with slide names like Typhoon, Turbo Twister, Adrenaline and Wild Ride, your swimmers will line up for their turn. But wait, there’s more! We carry a selection of larger slides with 360° ramps; the G-Force and Helix II slides will definitely turn heads! If you really want to go big, buy the coolest pool slide in town, the Vortex commercial pool slide. Standing over 10-1/2 feet tall, and with a 20’ long runway, it may be the fastest pool slide on the market.
Lights & Fountains
For inground pools, we have the traditional wall niche mounted pool lights, available with flood lamps or LED bulbs. LED pool lights from Hayward and Pentair are now in their 5th generation and the light produced is brighter than ever, with increased energy savings over traditional incandescent pool light bulbs. In addition, LED pool lights are available not only in Brite White, but their larger appeal is with LED color pool lights, which display dazzling light shows, or you can set it to any particular color you love. LED pool lights are so cheap to operate, you can run the pool light every night, and still pay less than using a 500W pool light once per month. Above ground pool owners love pool lights too, and we have a large selection of floating pool lights and wall mounted lights for above ground pools. The Nitelighter pool light is a standard pool lights used in above ground pools. We also have Floating LED pool lights, and the Intex magnetic LED pool light. Pool Fountains are another fun pool accessory, powered by water coming from your filter pump. Connect the pool fountain hose to your wall return for a beautiful backyard fountain.
Arguably, our most important pool accessory group, pool safety equipment - centers on fencing, covers, alarms and safe main drain covers. We have pool fencing for inground pools, also known as removable fencing, as it can be removed and stored during winter or for special events. Mesh fence panels are 10’ long, and can be installed in a variety of configurations to mate with existing fences or barriers, or can completely enclose the pool. Above ground pool fencing is installed on the top rail of the pool wall, and is sold in kit form, ordered by pool size. AG pool fencing comes in two heights - 24” and 36”, to meet any pool fence height requirement. For pool alarms, we have types that sit on the edge of the pool and sense displacement under the water, such as Pool Eye and PoolGuard pool alarms. Floating pool alarms like the Pool Buoy are triggered by water surface waves. We also stock the Safety Turtle pool alarm system with base station and water activated wristbands worn by a child or sewn to a pet’s collar. Door and Gate alarms help pool owners control access to the pool. Finally, take a look at our high quality gate hinges and latches to keep pool fence gates self-closing and self-latching.
Poolside accessories are those products used around the pool like patio furniture, and accessory items like outdoor clocks and thermometers. We have both traditional bulb and digital thermometers for keeping accurate water temps. We have outdoor showers and towel racks available in this area, and a foot bath, if you’re tired of sand or grass into the pool. And although they are used in-the-pool, here’s where we keep our rather large line of chlorine floaters for pools and spas. In our Entertainment section, you can find a variety of fun items for the pool, and make your pool pop with more outdoor ambiance. Pool Furniture includes the traditional pool chaise lounges, available with vinyl straps, mesh fabric, or in molded resin. This product group also includes outdoor dining sets, Umbrellas and bases, Hammocks and chairs and Pool Stools that can be used in the pool, and on the pool deck. Protect your pool furniture during the winter with patio furniture covers, in sizes to fit chairs, tables, lounges and umbrellas too. Also related to pool furniture is our storage solutions area that has products for storing toys, floats, chemicals, even a nice looking pool side trash can or towel hamper.
Skimmers & Cleaning Equipment
White goods is a term used to refer to those pool parts made from white plastic, or ABS to be specific. In our Wall Skimmers & Parts department, you will find complete replacement wall skimmers by Hayward for all pool types, and complete wall return fittings used on vinyl liner pools. Skim Vac adapters that allow you to vacuum into the skimmer basket, instead of the pump basket. We also carry replacement skimmer and return faceplates and gaskets, for use when replacing pool liners. Directional eyeball fittings are also included in white goods, even when they are grey or black in color. Skimmer baskets, weirs and skimmer lids are also considered white goods, as well as Hayward’s ubiquitous white plastic 1.5” threaded plug, and 1.5” hose adapters. Another group of white goods includes plumbing fittings, adapters, unions, and valves used to connect pumps, filters and heaters together. And although it’s often blue and not white, you’ll find backwash hose (aka discharge hose) with clamps in this area of the website.
Pool Filter Media
Pool Filter Media is the stuff inside of the filter tank, the material that traps the dirt. Over time, it loses the ability to catch small particles and will need replacement. We carry a huge inventory of pool filter media to fit any pool filter. Sand Filters are filled 2/3 full of pool filter sand, which lasts 5-7 years. Filter sand alternatives include ZeoSand and FilterBalls. Cartridge pool filters use replacement filter cartridges, which should be replaced every few years, or after 12-15 cleanings. D.E. pool filters use fabric coated DE Grids, which last about 10 years, and are used with a coating of DE powder, or DicaPerl perlite. All types of Filter Media can be renewed with a deep cleansing from a pool filter cleaner chemical to remove oils and minerals. Choose the pool filter cleaner made for your filter type, then soak and rinse clean to improve flow and increase usable filter surface area. Treatment is recommended annually, at the end of each season, or more often for heavily used pools with undersized pool filters, or for filter media in poor condition.