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Category: How To’s

Water Safety Facts You Need to Know

Water Safety Facts You Need to Know

May is National Water Safety Month! The sun has broken free from its wintry prison and summer is making its way around the mountain. Since you’ve already begun to think about re-opening your pool for the summer, now’s the perfect time to study up on Water Safety in order to protect your children from the dangers of the water.

National Water Safety Month

Among unintentional injuries, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children under the age of 5. Most of these deaths occur in a backyard pool.

Rising temperatures and drier climates are leading more and more people to purchase backyard pools for their families to enjoy during the hot months, and while pools are a great investment, it is vital to practice good water safety habits around your children to ensure their overall safety and protection.

If we’ve Aqua Quipped your life with a swimming pool, hot tub, or swim spa, take care to read through this whole list and learn as much as you can about Water Safety so you can pass along the knowledge to your friends, family, and neighbors.

Pool entry system

Courtesy of the “Simple Steps Save Lives” Program and apsp.org, here are a few simple steps you can take in order to save lives and prevent water-related accidents:

Stay close, be alert, and watch children in and around the pool

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or hot tub
  • Teach children basic water safety tips
  • If a child is missing, check the pool or hot tub first
  • Have a phone close by when you or your family is using a pool or hot tub
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends, and neighbors

Learn and practice water safety skills

  • Teach your child how to swim
  • Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, updating your skills regularly
  • Understand the basics of life-saving so you can assist in pool emergencies

Beach ball floats on the pool

Have appropriate equipment for your pool or hot tub

  • Install a fence around your pool or hot tub with self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools
  • Install and use a lockable safety cover on your hot tub
  • If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install door alarms and always use them. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing pools or spas
  • Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water

fenced-in above ground pool for maximized safety

At Aqua Quip, you can find everything you need to ensure a safe backyard environment for your kids. Whether it’s fences, gates, stairs, or auto-locks, we’ll take care of the set up while you can rest easy knowing your child is safe; however, while having the necessary equipment can be noticeably helpful, there are always other ways to sneak past. Always keep an eye on your kids when they’re outside near the pool no matter what. Drowning can happen in 10 seconds. Don’t let it happen to your kids.

If you’re in need of a fence or gate for your pool, please contact us at sales@aquaquip.com and we’ll get you set up with the proper safety equipment.

For more Water Safety tips or information about National Water Safety month, visit nationalwatersafetymonth.org/Consumers/Safety-Tips

How Hot Tubs Can Ease Your Arthritis Pain

How Hot Tubs Can Ease Your Arthritis Pain

Have your joints stopped moving as smoothly as they used to? Creaky joints are inconvenient and frustrating. Put that WD-40 down and relax in a hot tub instead.

Hot water and strong jets provide optimal relief for your whole body. One, thirty-minute soak in a hot tub can substantially reduce the tension in your bad knees, achy elbows, and cracking fingers and toes.

Hot water benefits your health and well-being

Warm temperatures release everyday tension in your muscles, and while you’re in a hot tub you’ll have an easier time regaining comfortable movement in your sore limbs. The buoyancy of the water allows for greater movement, and hot water relaxes your muscles to ensure an easier time with therapeutic exercises. Not only will your time in a hot tub help your muscles relax, but it will help put your mind at ease. Arthritis is just as painful as it is frustrating, so let your hot tub massage your aching body and soothe your stresses.

In-water exercises help to ease your pain

Arthritis might prevent you from exercising the way you want to on land, but since water dilutes Earth’s gravity a bit, doing small exercises in the hot tub could help significantly reduce your arthritic pain. Now that you can freely move your aching arms, legs, hands, and feet, small movements that help stretch and strengthen your body will be much easier. Here are a couple of suggested exercises that you can try in the hot tub to help ease your arthritic pain:

  • Extend your fingers to stretch, then gradually curl your hand into a fist. Repeat this motion slowly to get the blood flowing in your hands
  • While sitting, raise your feet one at a time, extending your knees to get your muscles moving
  • Allow the hot water to relax your body and slowly extend your arms to relieve any tension in your elbows. Bring your hands back in towards your chest and repeat this motion gradually.
  • Slowly trace the alphabet with your feet to loosen the muscles in your ankles

Do these exercises gradually, and limit each movement to 5-15 times; you don’t want to over-extend your body or risk injury. But don’t take it from us; we sell hot tubs, not prescriptions. Speak with your physician before doing any exercises on your own.

Other Considerations

  • Talk to your physician before any kind of physical exercise
  • Limit your hot tub time to less than 30 minutes
  • Sitting and breathing in high heat can make you dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your time in a hot tub.
  • For hot tub exercises, keep the water temperature below 100 degrees to avoid overheating your body

 

Don’t have a hot tub? Check out our selection here for your first step in soothing your arthritic pain: www.aquaquip.com/hottubs

How To: 8 Easy BBQ Grill Cleaning Tips

How To: 8 Easy BBQ Grill Cleaning Tips

The summer might be winding down, but with football season starting, there is still plenty of grilling left to do! Here are a few tips to make grill cleaning easy, keeping your BBQ in the best condition so it will last you and your family a long time.

Regular Maintenance

1. Brush the grill grates

Weber Grill Grates

When you’re finished cooking, take your grill brush and scrub off any excess food from the gas or charcoal grill grates while the grill is still hot. Hot grill grates will make it much easier to brush off any hardened food build-up. Brushing regularly only takes a couple of seconds and will help maintain the cleanliness of your grill. You can use Piggy’s BBQ Grill and Grate Cleaner and a plastic putty knife to return your grates and other inner proponents of your grill to their original grease-free shine.

2. Clean out the Ash Basket

To keep your charcoal grill clean, clear out the ash basket every so often to keep your grill from getting too clogged. If you’re going for a long, slow cook, make sure the basket is clean before hand so you don’t have to worry about an inconvenient pile-up.

3. Cover your Grill

Green Mountain Grill Cover

Covers protect your barbecue from the weather and dust build-up, and they significantly decrease how much grill cleaning would be necessary to maintain your BBQ, which means less work for you in the long run. It’s a win win!

4. Make it Shine

C;ean Stainless Steel Knobs on a Weber Grill

After a while, your grill might start to pick up some dust and dirt, so wipe your grill down with vinegar for a quick fix to maintain your barbecue’s shine.

Deep Cleaning

 5. Shampoo, Rinse, Repeat*

If your grill is in need of some tender loving care, it might be time for a deep clean. Using warm, soapy water, start on the inside of your grill and move from the top down as you make your way to the outer shell. Non-stainless and chrome surfaces can be cleaned with an all-purpose cleaner. You can repeat this process again to clean away extra tough dirt and grime. A deep clean will extend the lifetime of your grill and in turn, you won’t have the need for BBQ grill maintenance anytime soon.

*don’t actually use shampoo to clean your barbecue.

6. How to: Stainless Steel

On stainless steel and chrome, avoid using abrasive cleaners and brushes. You’re grill has provided you with great food, so be gentle with it in return. Piggy’s BBQ Cleaner works well on stainless steel and chrome so you don’t have to worry about scratches. Buff your grill by rubbing a thin layer of flour into the surface, and wipe off the excess when you’re done. To top it off, use Citrushine stainless steel polish to ward off fingerprints.

7. Don’t forget to clean your accessories!

BBQ grill brush

Make sure to clean all of your grilling accessories while you’re in the process of washing your barbecue. And while you’re soaking your spatulas and bathing your brushes, don’t forget about the burner tubes and the cook box on gas grills, or the ash tray if you have a charcoal grill. To truly get a deep clean on your barbecue, you must wash everything. 

8. Just Ask Aqua Quip!

Aqua Quip BBQ Grill Cleaning Services

If cleaning your grill is proving to be a daunting task, you can set up an appointment with our BBQ cleaning specialist to come out and do all the tricky work for you. And while we service your barbecue,  you can relax and plan what you’ll be grilling for dinner!

10 Ways to Clean a Green Swimming Pool

10 Ways to Clean a Green Swimming Pool

By now, you’ve probably seen this picture circling the internet:

Olympic Dive pool has Green Water Problem
Green Pool at the Rio Olympics 2016

This last week in Rio, the Olympic dive pool turned murky green over night, and it didn’t take long for the water polo pool adjacent to it to begin it’s new color transformation as well. Green swimming pools are a common problem, and the likelihood is that if you have a pool, you’ve witnessed something similar. We’re taking this opportunity to let you know the top 10 reasons why your pool might be off-colored, and instructing you on how you can clean your green pool. We also want to share with you the importance of cleaning and maintaining your pool on a regular basis so you never have to look at a green pool again, because despite it being a normal issue, green pools are 100% preventable.

Pool Infected with Green Algae
Green Algae

Green Algae

Green Algae is the most likely reason as to why your swimming pool is off-colored, and luckily, the easiest of the types to clean. In order to clean it up, brush the sides of your pool and shock the water so the chlorine level is at least 10ppm. Depending on the severity of your algae problem, it could take a couple of weeks of pool cleaning to get your water back to its sparkling self.

Swimming Pool Infected with Yellow Algae
Yellow Algae

Yellow Algae

Yellow Algae collects like pollen, and all equipment, toys, and bathing suits need to be treated. In order to clean yellow algae, brush the sides of your swimming pool and use “Yellow Treat” algaecide. You may have to repeat this process a few times in order to ensure a good clean for your water.

Pool infected with Black Algae
Black Algae

Black Algae

Black algae looks like mold and is the worst kind of algae, making it the most difficult to clean. In order to keep it out of your pool, you’ll need to sanitize everything (equipment, toys, bathing suits, children, etc.), brush the sides of your pool, use Banish for Black Algae, and repeatedly shock your pool. You’ll need to complete this process several times to make sure the algae is completely gone from your pool. And, if the task is too daunting, we can come to you and clean your pool for you.

Copper and Iron Infected Pool
Contaminated Equipment

Contamination from Equipment

If you’re cleaning your pool with equipment that hasn’t been treated for algae, then your equipment could be infected and covered in algae spores. Leave your equipment in the pool when treating algae-infected water in order to clean away every possible candidate. Look to us for quality pool repair and maintenance to ensure your pool stays clean and functional.

Dirty Pool Filter
Dirty Pool Filter

Dirty Pool Filter

Make sure you’re cleaning your filter regularly. Dirty swimming pool filters create poor water flow, which lets algae easily grow and thrive. Luckily, filters are easy to clean with a Filter Flosser, which will clean out every nook and cranny. And, as part of our cleaning and maintenance package, we will provide pool filter cleaning on top of helping you rid your pool of its green color.

Copper or Iron infect pool
Metals Turn Pool Green

Metals

Once in contact with chlorinated water, copper and iron can react and turn pools and surfaces green, brown, or both. Bring a water sample into your nearest Aqua Quip so we can help you diagnose your pool for free and put you on the right path to a cleaner pool.

Crowded Swimming Pool
Too Many People

Too many People

A heavy bather load can tax your chlorine leaving less of it to sanitize any contaminants brought in, making your pool turn green. To avoid this problem, try not to overcrowd your pool and make sure everyone washes off before and after getting into the water . This will keep dirt, oils, and debris out that might clog your filter and use too much chlorine.

Rain water increases need for chlorine
Pool Effected by Weather

Weather

Rain Water can change the pH balance in your pool by increasing the need for chlorine, and hot weather means warmer pools and ideal conditions for algae growth. After long periods of time without use or after heavy rainfall, come in for a free water test to see what you need to do in order to bring your pool back to life. And if you don’t have one already, a pool cover is a great investment, as it can defend your pool from the elements and keep your water nice and clear in any season.

Low Chlorine Levels turn Pool green
Low Chlorine Levels

Low Chlorine Levels

If you’re pool is green, it might be a result of low chlorine levels. A water test will help to identify which chemicals you’ll need to re-balance your pool so you can get back to swimming as soon as possible!

Party Pool Pool Dye
Party Pool Pool Dye!

Party Pool Water Dye

If you’re looking for a new way to spice up your summer pool parties, Party Pool Water Dye can color your pool red, green, blue, and anything in between! But don’t worry, you can still swim in this green pool!

9 Pro-Tips for Grilling your Best Burger

9 Pro-Tips for Grilling your Best Burger

Of all the things to cook up on a grill, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Burgers. And why not? Burgers are delicious. Especially if they are made the right way. So, your friends here at Aqua Quip did some digging to figure out the best tips for grilling the perfect burger. No need to thank us.

1. Don’t buy pre-formed wannabe burger patties

You want to be in total control of the outcome of your burger, right? You can’t leave anything to chance, and that includes your burger meat. So instead of reaching straight for the already-formed, two dimensional “hamburger” meat, grab the ground chuck instead.

2. Make sure the beef has an 80/20 lean to fat ratio

Here’s a tip from one of our very own: never, ever, ever, use cheap 90% lean ground beef; avoid the hockey-puck burger, and get it right the first time. With 20% fat, you’re on the right track to a nice juicy burger.

3. A little goes a long wayolebobhickory

Speaking from experience, adding a lot of spices will make you feel cool, but it won’t actually do much for the burger itself. Do your burgers a favor, and just stick with the basics: salt and pepper. Or, if you want to have a little fun with your burgers, pick up a jar of your favorite John Henry’s BBQ seasoning from your nearest Aqua Quip store!

4. Be extra gentle while forming your patties

This burger is your baby: caress it; love it; give it a nice warm hand hug before laying it down for a quick nap in the grill, and remember that if you’re too aggressive with your burger baby, it will become too tough and it might not come home for holidays.

5. Separate the ground beef into 5-8 oz. patties, flatten them out to 1 inch thickness, and make sure the patty is the same width as the bun

Because nothing is worse than finding that perfect bite, only to find out that it was just bread.

6. Create a small divot on the top of the burger patty to ensure that it doesn’t puff up while cooking

Ever tried to pick up a big, rounded burger, plus toppings and buns? Hint: It doesn’t end well. So for totally flat, yet juicy burgers, all you have to do is make that tiny dimple with your thumb.

Photo from the Food Network
Photo from the Food Network

7. After preheating your grill to medium or medium/high heat, throw the patties on and LEAVE THEM ALONE.

It’s always tempting to poke and prod and push down on our patties while they cook, but the best way to do it is to just leave them be. You really only need to flip the burgers once after 4 or 5 minutes. And whether you’re using a Big Green Egg or a Weber grill, always keep the hood open, or else you might overcook your burger.

8. Cook the patties for 4 minutes on each side and use a thermometer to test the internal temperature (make sure it hits 160°); do NOT cut into that patty.

For a perfect medium rare, four minutes on each side is all you need; if you want your burgers done more medium, just add an extra minute on each side. Then, when the burgers look close to done, check the temperature, not the color. Use a meat thermometer to test if the patty has reached 160°, but don’t cut into it because you’ll release all of those wanted burger juices.

9. In the final few minutes of grilling your burgers, add cheese to the tops of the patties and throw some buttery buns on the grill.

A toasty bun creates that delicious “crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside” texture, and adds a layer of delicious flavor to your already mouthwatering burger. Just one to two minutes on the grill should do the trick. Then while those are toasting, move your burger to a cooler side of the grill and toss a slice of cheesy goodness right on top and watch it melt away with all your troubles.

And there you have it! Your perfect burger. For more fun burger recipes, look no further than here! 

Back to (Old) School

Back to (Old) School

Parents! It’s that time again! September is just around the corner, and you know what that means: Back to school (AKA spending all sorts of money on new crayons and markers that your kids insist they “need”–trust me. Been there, done that). But instead of stressing about back-to-school errands, just remember there are still a few days left before school starts, and you still have time for one last hurrah! Now’s your chance to throw one last pool party for you and your kids, and we’re here to help with the planning.

No matter how old we get, we’re all still kids on the inside, so here are some tasty recipes that bring delicious twists to some of the classics.

To skip to the good stuff, click here ↓

Cup o’ Dirt
Pizza Grilled Cheese
S’mores Bar

Cup o’ Dirt

Think back to your childhood. It’s a sunny, summer day; there are grass stains on your clothes that are so fresh you can still smell them, and in the far right corner of your yard, you see it. That big, beautiful, brown mud pit. It’s calling your name, and like any other kid, you neglect any hygienic common sense, so you dive right in and start building the most perfect, sloppy, and delicious mud pie. 

Since eating said mud pie wasn’t very tasty (and frankly, looked down upon), we’ve discovered a happy and just as lovely alternative: Dirt Pudding Cups (Cups o’ Dirt). Chocolate pudding, Oreo crumbles, and gummy worms combine wonderfully to make the grossest and yet most deliciously muddy dessert you can find. Here’s how to do it!

Ingredientsworms-in-dirt-pudding-cups-recipe-

1, 15 oz. package of Oreos (or similar cookie)
1, 3.9 oz. package chocolate instant pudding
2 cups cold milk
8 oz. whipped topping (cool whip/reddi whip)
24 gummy worms

Directions

1. Make the dirt: put all of the sandwich cookies into a gallon-size ziploc bag and then use a rolling pin to crush them until they are at what you consider “good quality soil”.

2. Make the pudding: Pour the dry pudding mix into a large bowl and add cold milk. Whisk it all together until it’s smooth, and then let it sit for about 5 minutes until it thickens.

3. Mix it all together: Add the whipped cream and most of the cookie crumbles to the pudding, and gently stir until you have a good, muddy-looking texture. (If you really want it to look gross, mix the gummy worms into the pudding mixture as well). If not, go ahead and stick them right on top and surround them with the Oreo cookie crumbles.

Now you’re ready to go!

Pizza Grilled Cheese

Here is an obvious, and well-known fact: People love pizza.
Obvious, well-known fact number two: People love grilled cheese.
So….why not put them together?!

This is one of my favorite recipes, and it’s not just because it’s pizza on a grilled cheese. (Okay, you got me. That’s most of it). The other reason is because pizza is so versatile, that regardless of what you put on your pizza grilled cheese, it will be absolutely delicious. For now, here’s the recipe for a basic pepperoni pizza grilled cheese:

Ingredients:pizza grilled cheese

1/4-1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese (shredded or sliced is easiest and melts the best, but if you want to be fancy, feel free to go with the really fresh kind)
5-6 Pepperoni rounds
1/4 cup of Marinara Sauce
2 slices of Bread (Sourdough, French bread, whole grain…whatever makes you happy, it’s all delicious)

(Quantity depends on how many you are serving. For now, this recipe calls for one sandwich)

Directions:

First! You must prep your grilled cheese: Spread the marinara sauce evenly along one slice of the bread. (If you put too much on, it gets really messy, really fast.) Now, layer on that cheese–I suggest just enough so that you can’t see the marinara sauce under the cheese. Up next, you’re going to put on the pepperoni (5-6 small rounds works well on one sandwich)–At this point, you may be done loading your sandwich, however if there are other delicious toppings the kids would like, I might suggest a “Pizza Grilled Cheese Bar” where each person can pick the best toppings to go on their sandwich.

Once you’re all prepped, put your sandwich together and butter the outer side of each slice of bread. This will give you a nice, crispy coating when you’re all done. If you want to add some more flavor, sprinkle some Italian seasonings over the butter or even better, Parmesan cheese.

The best way to cook this delicious pizza sandwich? The grill. I mean…it’s called Grilled Cheese for a reason! So, set your grill for 350º F. Once it’s all heated and warm, align your sandwich with the grates of your BBQ so it really gets that “grilled” look to it. Cook on each side for about 2 and a half minutes or until the bread is a nice, golden brown color. Just make sure to keep an eye on it! After 2 and a half minutes, flip your sandwich and repeat. If the cheese isn’t melted all the way, turn the grill down to low and let it sit until your sandwich is what you consider to be the perfect consistency.

This sandwich will have everyone asking for a “PIZZA” that grilled cheese!

S’mores Bar

There aren’t many people in the world that would turn down a classic S’more. These melty chocolate, boiling hot marshmallow, and crunchy graham cracker sandwiches tend to win, hands down, in the “best campfire dessert” category. Kids these days love switching things up daily, so why not create an exciting twist with a classic S’more? Here are some ideas of what to get:s'mores bar with reese's butterfinger hersheys nutella and other great ingredients!

1. Various chocolate bars (Reese’s, Butterfinger Cups, Kit Kats)

2. Different sandwich options (graham crackers of course, chocolate chip cookies, Nilla wafers)

3. Spreads to pump up the flavor (Nutella, Cookie Butter, Peanut Butter, Caramel)

Don’t have a campfire? Keep your barbecue on! S’mores cooked on the grill will make sure your marshmallows and chocolate sandwiches are perfectly melted, and wonderfully gooey. All you have to do is prep your S’more, wrap it in heavy-duty foil, and put it over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until the marshmallow is melted. Perfectly classic S’mores, customized to your liking, and absolutely delicious.

Side note:

Want some pool party themed decorating tips? In our last post, “Use your Noodle” I included a link that has over 50 different ways to use pool noodles, including ways to decorate your home. Here is that same extensive list. Enjoy!

 

Use your Noodle!

Use your Noodle!

If you’re anything like me, you love golf, but your golf swing looks a little like this.

giphy

But not all hope is lost! We found a fun new way to better your golf swing by using something that anyone with a pool already has floating in his or her backyard: a pool noodle.

giphy (1)

PGA senior instructor Greg Greksa has added “fixing your golf swing” to the extensive list of things you can do with a pool noodle. All you need is a pool noodle and a piece of conduit to help you go from feeling like this…

best golf reaction

to feeling like this…

anigif_enhanced-buzz-22555-1371435333-0

You go, Phil.

First thing’s first. Simply place a conduit in the ground at an angle and put the pool noodle on it. For the correct angle, get into a comfortable swing position and make sure the top of your head touches the pool noodle.

Why are we going out of our way to look ridiculous, you ask? Well, the pool noodle acts as a guide to keep your head from coming up or moving too much when you swing. By keeping your head steady, you can achieve a smoother and more accurate golf swing. Who’d have thought that you could use your noodle for your noodle?

Watch the video below for full instructions. ↓↓

Don’t have a pool noodle? Feel free to swing by any of our Aqua Quip locations to get one!

START YOUR SUMMER WITH A SIZZLE AND A BANG

START YOUR SUMMER WITH A SIZZLE AND A BANG

The 4th of July is just around the corner and our Summer Sizzle Sale is already in full swing! From swimming pools to grills, here at Aqua Quip you can find anything and everything you need to throw the perfect Independence Day party—and it’s on sale!

To skip to our delicious recipes, click here ↓

Poolside Dip
Fruit Kabobs
Bacon-Wrapped, Cheese-Stuffed Hot Dog

WHAT DO WE DO? WE SWIM.

Picture this: the clouds part to reveal clear, blue skies. The sun is beaming down and you look out towards your backyard where your kids are splashing around in the pool. Laughter echoes through the yard, and you remember what it was like to be a kid at the pool with your best friends. Here’s the thing, you stop imagining and you realize you don’t have a pool, but you want to be able to enjoy those moments again. So, if you’re in need of a pool but don’t want the hassle of construction, we have the perfect thing for you!

On sale for as low as $99 a month,* we are selling Above Ground Pools from Doughboy. This “original portable pool” is perfect for your 4th of July celebration and every day after. They’re made to last, and even come with a lifetime warranty! People of all ages love this pool, and since it’s above ground, it won’t let you down; however, you can put it in the ground, too, if that floats your toy boat. How cool is that? To set up this bad boy, all you need is some flat ground to cut (or not). The Doughboy pools extend up to 7 feet deep, and until dinner is ready, everyone will just keep swimming.

YOU SHOULD DOLPHINATELY CHECK OUT THESE SALES

If you already have a pool, we have plenty of items on sale for you, too! Along with chemical treatments, heaters, and filtration systems, we also have fun items for everyone in the family, like a 2-in-1 Basketball hoop and Volleyball net at $142.99* to a Super Soft Pool Lounge for just $79.99.* After a trip to any of our 9 Aqua Quip locations, the whole family can be all set for this summer (and summers to come). And don’t forget to pick up a few family-favorite Water Noodles for 20% off!*

SSSSSSSSSSS….

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of the Big Green Egg Grill smoking a freshly caught salmon (Recipe here). These top-selling grills can cook, smoke, and bake anything you want. As a hybrid smoker, EGG heads can use their ceramic-lined grill to create some of the most delicious smoked fish or meat ever tasted. The Big Green Egg will maintain the temperature so well, you won’t have to worry about a thing while your food is smoking. Then, for dessert, you can use the indirect cooking method to bake this molten chocolate cake. So, while you and your family are playing in the pool, your brand new grill will be cooking up hot dogs, hamburgers, and maybe even a cake, because it can!

 *all sales end July 12

 

WHAT’S COOKIN’, GOOD LOOKIN’?

Stumped on what to cook this year for your 4th of July party? Don’t worry, we’ve got it covered. Below, we have provided some of the most popular—and most delicious—Independence Day treats for you and your family.

Let’s start with the appetizers…

This poolside dip is addicting. And guess where you’ll be snacking on it! That’s right. Poolside. It’s easy to make, and even easier to eat, so grab a bowl and get mixing! Here are the ingredients:

Poolside Dip

blog1

• 1 green pepper

• 1 red pepper

• 1 jalapeno

• 1 can black beans

• 1 can corn

• 8 oz cream cheese

• 1 Hidden Valley Ranch Packet

• 1 tsp garlic salt

Instructions:

Chop up the red pepper, green pepper, and the jalapeño. Put them in a mixing bowl and add corn (fresh, canned, bagged, whichever you like best) and black beans (drained and rinsed).

In another bowl, combine cream cheese, garlic salt, and the Hidden Valley Ranch Packet. Throw in the veggies, mix it up some more and refrigerate for an hour. You can serve it with tortilla chips, or for a little more flavor, serve it with Triscuits. Voila!

Up next is an even easier to make fruit kabob. All you need are some kabob sticks and your favorite fruit. Slice it, stack it, and throw them on the grill for an even more exciting treat. Or, if you wanted to be even more patriotic, stick to strawberries and blueberries for the basics and add some marshmallows and brownie bites for a delicious twist.

blog2 blog3

Time for the big reveal! For your winning 4th of July party, you can use your grill or oven to cook up these delicious hot dogs. It’s quick, easy, and what better way to celebrate America than with meat wrapped in meat and stuffed with cheese? Here’s how it’s done:

BACON.

  blog4

Bacon-Wrapped, Cheese-Stuffed Hot Dogs

• 8 Hot dogs! (Whichever kind you prefer)

• ½ cup shredded cheese (Colby Monterrey Jack is the best for this, but feel free to use your favorite cheese)

• 16 slices of pre-cooked bacon (so it’s easy to wrap)

• 8 toasty hot dog buns

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 450° or if you want to use your new Big Green Egg, 400°. Slice each hot dog right down the middle but only halfway so you don’t split it all the way in half. Then fill the pocket with your favorite shredded cheese.

After that, grab the bacon and wrap ‘em up. If you need to, use toothpicks to keep the bacon in place. (Microwaving the bacon a bit could make wrapping the hot dogs easier.)

Throw them in the oven (or Big Green Egg) for 10 minutes until your cheese is melted and the bacon and hot dog are hot. Enjoy! And don’t forget to swing by any of our 9 Aqua Quip locations to check out our Summer Sizzle Sale Event before time runs out!

 

It’s Time To Open Your Pool

It’s Time To Open Your Pool

2010-06-29 13.51.27

Memorial Day is

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coming fast and with the wonderful sunny weather we have been having in the Northwest – why not get a head start and get your pool ready for summer? Follow these 6 easy steps to ensure a smooth and easy pool opening:

  1. Take off your pool cover. Drain off water, remove and clean your cover with xxx
  2. Fill your

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    to the middle of the skimmer opening to allow for proper circulation.

  3. Check your pump, skimmer basket and filter. Make sure they are in perfect working condition. If not, make sure you contact your local store for replacements and we will be happy to help you out.
  4. Get your water tested. Bring a pint of water to your nearest store and we will test it for you for free.
  5. Test sanitizer and pH levels.
  6. Routine maintenance. Maintain your pool with routine maintenance – use BioGuard‘s 3-step pool care system or use Baquacil for a chlorine free option. You can also check out our blog post about automatic pool cleaners.

Now all you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the

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Ready, Set, Open Your Pool – Tips from the Pros!

Ready, Set, Open Your Pool – Tips from the Pros!

Greetings pool people! It’s that time of year again where we peel back those winter covers to reveal whether or not Mother Nature and Father Winter were nice to our pools this off season. With the nice weather we’ve been receiving, we’d like to remind you to start tackling your pool maintenance soon to prevent an algae bloom! Here are some tips to help make your pool season get started off on the right foot.

Tip 1 – Pool Cover Removal

Remove as much excess water from the cover as possible, and use a broom or leave blower to clear off the rest of the debris. When pulling off those winter covers or safety covers, have some Stow Away on hand to clean them off before storage. This product not only cleans, it also helps prevent mildew and other nastiness from growing while your cover takes its summer nap.

Tip 2 – Surface Maintenance

Jeff Adams, one of our many fine maintenance techs, says that brushing your pool is not only good for your pool, but it’s also a great workout for your triceps. Two birds, one stone! Now if brushing isn’t for you, see my previous blog about our fine automatic pool cleaners.

Tip 3 – Filter Care

Another long time and awesome maintenance tech, Jason Markham, would like to remind you to chemically clean your filter for the beginning of the

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season. A clean filter makes a happy pool. If you have a sand filter and the sand is older than 5 years, it’s time to change it out! Make sure to ask us about the VitroClean Glass difference!

Tip 4 – Water Balancing

Once the cover is off and the pool has been circulating for at least 24hrs, take a sample of water into your nearest Aqua Quip so we can give you a recipe to successfully balance the pool water. Making sure your Alkalinity,

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Ph, Calcium, Sanitizer, and Algaecide levels are at their proper levels is crucial to ensuring a stress-free swim season.

Tip 5 – Enjoy

Once your pool is brushed and balanced, and your filter is clean, you can grab your nearest floatation device, sit back, and enjoy!

If this all sounds like more than you’d care to tackle, ask us about our Pool Opening Special! We’ll come out and do the dirty work for you.