How to Get the Most Out of Your Pool in Central New York



It may still seem like the dead of winter, but before you know it it’ll be time to open up the pool again, or begin considering what kind of pool you might like to install. Don’t believe the myth that you can only swim 3 months out of the year in Central New York.  Consider a Radiant Pool, available in above ground and in-ground models. It will not only extend your swimming season, but also save you a lot of money on your pool bill.

1. Radiant Pools are the only swimming pools made of an R-10 structural insulated panel. This creates a pool wall that will not rust or crack, is resistant to corrosion and oxidation, and forms a safe structure that will last forever. These pools are guaranteed to handle the harsh elements of CNY weather.

2. Radiant Pools are also the only pools on the market that are considered environmentally friendly as well as energy efficient. All Radiant Pools are constructed with Expanded Polystyrene and aluminum, which contain no damaging chemicals and are 100% recyclable. Radiant Pools is the only pool manufacturer recognized as an Energy Star Buildings Partner. The company is dedicated to environmentally friendly innovation.

3. Energy efficiency is important because of its effect on the environment, AND the effect on your wallet.  The insulated walls of Radiant Pools are resistant to heat loss, even after the sun goes down . The wall structure also helps the pool heat up faster, allowing your pool to remain 8-10 °F warmer. On average, you can save up to 25% on pool heating costs. Plus, you’ll enjoy your pool for up to two months longer every year.

4. Once you decide to purchase a Radiant Pool it will only be a short time before you can begin planning your first pool party! Due to its lightweight structure, the installation process is much faster than other style pools. Also, Radiant Pools has a 100% lifetime warranty. We have all the details.

Purchase a pool that fits your climate. Enjoy almost 6 months of swimming in your Radiant Pool! For more information visit or give us a call at (315) 458-8800.


The Best Time to Buy a Swimming Pool and the Steps to Take Before You Purchase

Summer may seem far away, but buying a pool requires time and thought. Researchers agree that the best time to purchase a pool is in the winter. Why? There are off-season discounts, you can receive a top spot on the spring install list and it gives you time to research the right pool before the spring rush. (Not to mention it makes a great Christmas gift!) Here are some things you should consider before buying your pool.

1. Visualize your dream pool
You may already know what kind of pool you are interested in. If not, look at photographs of pools and highlight what you like or dislike about each. You can bring the photographs to your consultation and receive feedback on the possibilities. This way we can customize it exactly to your liking.

2. Know your needs
Do you require a pool that has enough room for your exercise routine or is shallow enough for your young children? Your pool can provide much more than recreation, so make sure it fits your personal lifestyle.

3. Research building permits and local building codes
Before selecting your pool, find out what your yard can accommodate and what local regulations your community has on pool installations. This is important to know because many codes require fences, which will need to be factored into the layout.

4. Decide on the type of pool
Now that you know your needs and all of the regulations you can choose the type that works best for you. Steel pools are long lasting and affordable. Fiberglass pools have a strong defense against contaminants and have the fastest construction time. Polymer pools have fantastic warranties and are one of the newer innovations in pools. Lastly, Radiant Pools are perfect for Syracuse since they are energy efficient and, on average, 8°F warmer.

5. Create a budget
We will help you get what you want at a price you can afford. Things to factor into this budget are initial pool installation and long-term costs. This way you know exactly what you are getting and for how much. It is always easier to commit to what you really want than change things along the way, so be careful of settling based on price.

6. Safety is a priority
You know your environment better than anyone. Install safety features where  necessary or when required such as child locks, alarms, or a secure fence.

7. Create the look
Once you know how your pool will look, how will you complement it? Will you need patio furniture, new tile surrounding the pool or pool toys? With a trained eye we can assist you in creating the perfect pool landscape.

8. Ask questions
If you are unsure about what pool is right for you, what maintenance a pool requires, or any of the other responsibilities that come with being a pool owner, ask us! We will help you every step of the way.

If you would like to meet with us for more information, or take advantage of our $900 off an above ground, 24ft Radiant Pool* give us a call at (315) 458-8800.


*Example of Radiant Pool

Closing Your Inground Pool in 7 Easy Steps

Sadly, it’s that time again. The temperature is beginning to drop and it’s time to close your pool for the season. If you couldn’t make it to our pool school, we’ve got you covered. Here are some quick and easy steps to getting your inground pool ready for winter.

1) Vacuum and Test
The cleaner your pool is when it’s closed, the cleaner it will be when it reopens. Leaving debris and leaves in your pool increases the risk of staining and results in a higher demand for chemicals, so be thorough. Check your water chemistry to ensure it is balanced. We can do it for free here at Tarson in 5 minutes. Doing this will optimize your water balance and make sure you are getting the full potential out of your chemicals.

*If your water is green or discolored, address this before closing your pool.

2) Add Winter Chemicals
Once the water is tested and balanced, add your winter chemicals as directed. In most cases, the pump should be on. DO NOT add  the chemicals into the skimmer. Allow the chemicals to circulate for 2-4 hours before continuing the process.

3) Remove Hardware
Remove all ladders, toys, diving boards, etc. Reduce wear by placing them in a dry, safe environment so you can enjoy them next season.

4) Drop the Water Level
Change the valve in front of your pump to select the Port 2 setting (the main suction line) and then set your filter to the drain (waste) position. Drain the pool water level 2-4 inches below the bottom of the skimmer.

* If you choose not to drain the pool water level, use a Blowout Extension. It allows you to reduce the force taken by the skimmer when the water freezes.

5) Filtration and Circulation Removal
Disconnect the filter, pump and heater from their lines and pull the plugs so they can drain. Store the pump indoors and use a Pump Protector to prevent seals from going bad. DO NOT place the sand filter indoors. The sand filter often weight hundreds of pounds. If the sand in the filter shifts  it could result in the internals of the filter breaking. DE filters should be cleaned and acid washed before being stored indoors.

6) Blow Out Lines
Select the Port 1 section on the valve to blow out the skimmer line. Using a blower or shop-vac, blow into the valve to push all of the water out of the skimmer lines and return lines. The air will come out of the closest return line first, so plug the line with a 1.5” winter plug then move on to the next. Now that all of the lines are blown out, add nontoxic antifreeze. Use a minimum of 1/2 gallon for every line. For the main drain, which cannot be blown out, use a full gallon of antifreeze.

7) Cover Pool
Place the cover over your pool so that it comfortably fits flat on the water. You don’t want your cover to be tight or strained because this may lead to tearing. Place the water bags inside of the designated straps (on inground pools)  to weigh down the cover. Fill the water bags half way to leave room for expansion. Place them end to end to avoid wind moving the cover. For extra weight, spray an inch or two of water on the cover.

For more details or specific information, contact us at (315) 458-2831.

The Best Time to Sign Your Child Up for Swimming Lessons and Six Other Tips on Teaching Your Little One to Swim

Teaching your child to swim can be very exciting and rewarding. Do you have doubts about whether your child is ready? Every child is different, but take a peek at what the experts are recommending.

1. Begin water activities between the ages of 6 months – 3 years in order to get your child  comfortable with the water. This can include playing games and skill building to help children familiarize themselves with their surroundings.

2. The American Association of Pediatrics recommends beginning formal swimming lessons at age 4. Kourtney Eidam from Parents magazine says at this age children are “developmentally able to learn skills needed to stay afloat.” If you are unsure if your child is ready, observe their behavior in the pool and ask how they feel about learning to swim. Rest assured, swimming instructors are trained to help children at all stages of learning.

3. Find a local swimming program that matches your child’s water skills. If he or she is very comfortable and has a lot of swimming experience, you might want to consider a level above the first-timers.

4. The best time of year to sign your child up for swimming lessons is in the winter. Tina Ramser, a swimming instructor with 15 years of experience, suggests that your child will receive more individual attention, better instruction, more consistent lesson times and an overall better experience.

5. The worst time of year, believe it or not, is August! Ramser explains that swimming instructors are worn out, less available, and that August is an overall busy month, which might lead to cancelled appointments.

6. The learning should not just take place at lessons. If you have a pool at home, encourage your child to practice what was learned in class. If you don’t have a pool, utilize other options such as local beaches, lakes, community pools, etc.

7. No matter the age, always keep an eye on your child. Accidents happen even to the best swimmers, so execute every safety precaution possible.

Hopefully, now you feel more at ease about this upcoming adventure. For more information about swimming lessons check out Tina Ramser’s blog:

Or for more information on what you read here visit:    or

Using Your Pool: Aqua Aerobics more than Jogging in Place

While swimming and splashing in your pool this summer you will be burning calories. Water is one of the best fitness tools: It provides resistance, which strengthens muscles and boosts cardio intensity. It also supports some of your weight, making workouts easier on joints and reducing injury.  Aquatic exercises can also burn fat faster than traditional cardio workouts.

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Using your pool on a hot summer day is a great way to get your heart rate up and enjoy a low-impact workout. The best part about working out in your pool is it often doesn’t feel like traditional cardio! It’s  a great way to begin an exercise routine or shake things up.

Ensure you have a great pool workout by following a few easy steps:

  1. Drink plenty of water before and after your workout. You may not feel it but you will be working up a sweat! Plus staying hydrated when outside is an important tip regardless of what your activity level is. Water is your friend.
  2. Wear water shoes during your workout it helps maintain traction with the pool floor and is also another form of resistance.
  3. Try aqua aerobic workout equipment. A formal aqua aerobic kit should include a belt, webbed gloves and foam dumbbells. You can also use Noodles, rubber balls and kick boards. These tools can improve your pool workout by increasing the intensity of water resistance.

There are the obvious pool workouts that include laps, jogging in place, kicking and wall push ups. But there are many other options for getting in a challenging pool workout out.

Here are some workout ideas (source):

First, you will need a noodle, webbed gloves, water shoes and a ball.

1. Spiderman


Climb the pool wall like Spiderman climbs buildings! This exercise helps you defy gravity in a way that just isn’t possible on land. It also provides a unique challenge to your core and back muscles.

How to do it: While standing in water at the side of the pool, stabilize your upper body by sweeping your hands back and forth as you run your legs up the side of the pool and then back down to the floor. Do four Spiderman exercises, alternating the leading leg each time you reach the end of one jogging circuit.

2. Pool Plank


Planks are a proven core strengthener on land. But if you don’t have a strong upper body, it’s hard to hold it long enough to give abdominal muscles a good workout. All of that changes in a pool. In addition, planks boost your endurance and “the water pushing and pulling on you increases the challenge to your core,” Sanders explains.

How to do it: Stand on the pool floor. Hold a noodle (it’s also called a “water log,” a long cylindrical piece of foam that floats) vertically in both hands. Press it straight down into the water and lean forward until your body is on an even incline. (Your head stays out of the water.) Try to keep yourself stable for 1-2 minutes.

3. Fly Backs


On land and in water, fly backs work the muscles in the upper chest, back and arms. They also improve posture.

How to do it: Start in a lunge position with your right knee bent and your left leg extended straight behind you. Reach your arms straight out in front of you at chest height — palms touching, fingers extended and thumbs up. Open your arms straight out to the sides, then return them to the starting position to complete one rep.

Do four sets of 8-15 reps, switching the forward leg each time you lunge. To boost your cardio workout and the number of calories you burn, do your reps while walking or jogging across the pool.

4. Core Ball Static Challenge:


This deceptively simple-looking exercise strengthens your core as you work to keep yourself upright. By changing the position of your arms and legs, it becomes four exercises in one.

How to do it:

Version A: Stand in a lunge with your right leg bent and your left extended behind you. Hold an inflated ball about 6 inches in diameter (like those found in a drugstore or toy store) with both hands directly in front of your navel. Keep your shoulders down and back. Hold this position for 30 seconds, engaging your core to keep you upright. Switch legs and hold for another 30 seconds.

Version B: Do the entire exercise one more time, this time holding the ball with your arms outstretched — so the ball is just under the surface of the water — for added challenge to your core.

Version C: Move your legs out of the lunge and balance on your right leg with your left knee lifted. Hold the ball in front of your navel as in version A and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat while standing on the left leg with the right knee lifted.

Version D: Balance again on your right foot, left knee lifted. Hold the ball with arms outstretched as in version B and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat while standing on the left leg with the right knee lifted.

**Please Note we are not doctors, registered dietitians, or fitness experts. The purpose of this  blog post is to share fitness ideas—not to dole out advice. When it comes to your health and fitness, do your research. Always consult with a physician before beginning a new workout routine. This information is sourced from for additional workout ideas please visit their website.**

Tarson Poools and Spas Install inground pool Waterloo, NY

Stop into any of our six locations to learn more about what aqua aerobics tools we are currently carrying or give us a call at 315-458-8800.  It’s a been a very hot summer, remember we offer free water testing at all our locations to keep your pool healthy too!

Planning a Summer Pool Party

Tarson Pools and Spas Guide to Pool Party Planning!

Tarson Pools Syracuse, Tarson pool party ideas, tarson pools

Throwing a great pool party is on most pool owners summer to-do lists. This year we’ve decided to give you some of our own great tips for making your summer pool party a must attend event!

Safety first!  Make sure all your pool deck and areas are clean and in good repair.  Chemicals should be put away and you and your family should be current on on all water safety rules. You can read our blog post on those here.

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What is the theme of your event? A simple backyard BBQ, an evening dinner by the pool, or a more casual family event?  Is this a fun kid friendly event or an intimate gathering of adults?

For a children friendly event be sure to provide your guests with little swimmers, towels, sunscreen and pool game options like diving sticks. Some guests will bring their own but it never hurts to have extra on hand.

For an adult theme pool party consider the ambiance of the event. Maybe something simple and airy like this would work. If the party is more of an evening affair consider floating candles or pool lights.

Summer Pool Party

photo: AmyAtlas , Tarson via pinterest

Get creative with the invitations to your pool party. Don’t just call people to invite them,  give them something special to look forward to.

tarson pool party invitation

photo: jacolynmurphy , Tarson via Pinterest

invitation for pool party tarson Syracuse

photo: Tinyprints

Now the party is planned and the guests are invited! Making sure your guests are comfortable is the next order of business. Plan that not all guests will be swimming, some may want to sit and chat. Be sure you have provided plenty of seating and space to relax near the pool for those who won’t be getting in the water.

Shade will be important as well!  An umbrella or seating in parts of your backyard that are naturally shaded will make your guests more comfortable. We offer a full line of retractable awnings, if your backyard offers no natural shade.  You don’t want sunburned guests leaving your party.
Galtech Umbrellas, tarson pools syracuse NY

Patio Furnature from Tarson Pools Syracuse NY
What will all your party goers be eating and drinking?  Plan your snacks and meals accordingly. Since it’s summer be sure to provide plenty of water and hydrating beverages. If you are having a kid friendly party make the finger foods really pop by adding a cute theme throughout. Some Ideas:

pool party ideas

Photo: Tarson via Pinterest

photo: Partylikepaula Tarson via Pinterest

pool party ideas syracuse

photo: postteenageliving Tarson via Pinterest

For an adult pool party consider adding in theme ideas where they make sense. Adults might not like a shark filled with fruit but maybe a signature cocktail or mocktail is more fitting. You can also add other elements that will make the day special and memorable like these napkin rings. It’s the small details that will have your guests raving!

pool party ideas from Tarson Pools syracuse NY, pool ideas

photo: Frostmeblog Tarson via pinterest

tarson pool party ideas, mocktail cocktail ideas

photo: Treehugger Tarson via Pinterest

pool party ideas tarson pools syracuse NY

photo: cfabbridgesdesigns Tarson via Pinterest

Not all pool parties need to be structured events either. Sometimes unplanned guests make the best memories. How ever you choose to throw your pool parties this summer know that we are always happy to help  keep your pool sparkling clean and safe for all your guests. Stop into any of our six locations or give us a call at 315-458-8800. Remember we offer free water testing at all our locations.

tarson pools and spas lay in the sun, enjoy your pool

photo: schunt494 Tarson via Pinterst

Pool in syracuse NY, tarson pools and spas

Water Safety Tips

May is National Water Safety Month.

As a pool or spa owner it is extremely important to understand know how to keep  those using your pool or spa safe so everyone can enjoy a fun experience.

Drowning and injuries are very avoidable when safety rules are followed. Simple steps save lives.

The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) suggests creating a pool/spa safety kit that includes these basics:


  • A first aid kit
  • A pair of scissors that can be used to cut pool covers, clothing and other apparel if needed.
  • A charged telephone to call 911
  • A floatation device

These simple steps can save lives:

1. Supervision: Always watch your children in the pool. Children no matter their skill level should only swim when accompanied and supervised by an adult.

2. Fencing: A fence that is at least 4 -5  foot tall completely surrounding the pool is ideal. The fence should not be easy to climb and should contain self-latching locks. If your home serves as one side of the pool fence you should also consider window and door alarms.

3. Safety Covers: Covers are an extremely important part of pool/ spa safety. Spas should be covered and locked when not in use. Pools that are covered when not in use offer an added level of security. Children should be encouraged to stay away from both pools and spas with out adult supervision.  Most pool covers are designed to carry the weight of a small child. Safety covers should not be used alone using all safety steps is ideal for a fun pool or spa experience.

4. Alarm: Install alarms  in your pool and spas as well as access points. These alarms will notify you that someone is in the pool/spa or in the pool area.

5. Drain Covers: While they may not top your list on the pool and spas safety list ensuring your pool is using proper drainage covers can eliminate the risk of entrapment. Be sure that your pool and spa is using the proper drain covers and they are correctly installed by professionals.

6. Learn to Swim: It may sound too obvious but being able to swim as well as teaching your children to swim plays an important role in pool and spa safety. Did you know swimming is the only sport that can save a life, and lessons are available to people of all ages and skill levels.

7. Learn CPR: Knowing the basics of CPR can save lives. Should any of the earlier steps of safety fail knowing CPR is a crucial skill for pool owners. You may never need to use it but keeping up to date on your CPR skills can save lives and maximize your pool/spa safety.

If you have questions or want additional information about pool and spa safety please visit any of our six locations. Our staff of pool and spas professionals can assist you with anything you need. Please stop in our showroom or visit our website.