Enjoying your Spa in the Winter

Envision this…soaking in your steamy spa, sipping hot cocoa while the snow falls lightly around you. What could be more relaxing? In order to make this relaxing moment a reality in the cold winter months of Upstate NY, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure proper operation and efficiency of your “little oasis” all winter long!

  1. Stock up on Supplies – Check your supplies and make sure you have an extra filter cartridge and plenty of sanitizer, chemicals, test strips, and any other spa supplies you use to last you through the winter. You don’t want to be all set to jump in and relax and realize that you don’t have the supplies you need.
  2. Protect Your Pipes – The winters in Central NY tend to be very cold and with this weather comes the risk of the pipes freezing in your spa. All you need to do is make sure that your spa’s freeze protection system is activated. This will help to maintain a constant water temperature even when you’re not using the spa. If your spa doesn’t have freeze protection, don’t worry, you can set your timer to cycle on for 15 – 20 minutes every hour, this will keep warm water circulating through the pipes and decrease the chances of them freezing.
  1. Keep it Covered – Use your insulated cover whenever you are not using your spa. This is an essential step to help reduce the amount of energy used during the winter. Consider using a thermal blanket under the cover to help keep the heat in, reduce chemical use, and decrease moisture build-up on the cover. Remember to spray your vinyl cover with a protectant to safeguard against the harsh winter weather. If your spa is in an area outside where snow can accumulate on the cover, put a tarp over the cover each time your are done using it, then if snow does accumulate, just pull the tarp off and the snow is gone. Remember to periodically inspect your cover for tears, leakage, or other deformities. Make sure your cover fits well and is in good condition as this is the number one way to preserve your spa’s cleanliness AND save on energy expenses.
  1. Watch the Water Level – Check the water level in your spa regularly, especially if you do not use your spa every day. If the water gets too low, the pumps and heater may stop working which may lead to freezing water.
  2. Maintain the Water Temperature –The colder it gets, the longer it takes for your spa to heat up. It is less expensive and more efficient to maintain the water temperature of your spa on a daily basis than it is to let it get extremely cold and then reheat it when you want to use the spa. It also keeps water from freezing in the pipes and reduces chemical use.
  3. Turn off Air Jets – The air jets inject cold air in to the spa, thus cooling the water and requiring more energy to heat it back up. So, during the cold winter months, keep the jets turned off. If you still want to use the jets, make sure they are turned off after every use.
  4. Call now for service to fix anything that’s not working 100%.   It’s no fun to head out to the spa for relaxation and find out that it isn’t working.  Complete a check of the entire spa and if something isn’t working, get it fixed right away.
  1. Add music and accessories!  Make your spa area frosty and festive. With the right spa accessories, you can make your spa experience extra enjoyable. Why not add a new step, safety rail, spa caddy or a towel rack?  Visit our website at http://www.tarsonpools.com/pages/spas.htm for more information on these products.

If you currently do not own a spa and would like more information on purchasing one or have questions in regards to the spa that you own please give us a call today at (315) 458-8800, or stop into our North Syracuse or East Syracuse location and we would be glad to help.

Have a great winter!



Hot Tubs: A Great Addition to Any Home

Coupleclose_NightFireWouldn’t it be great to come home from a long day at work and climb into your own Hot Tub to soak away all the stress and aches and pains of the work day? There are many wonderful advantages to owning a hot tub, but did you know it provides health benefits beyond stress relief? Whether you have a chronic condition or just need a way to relax, a hot tub can help enhance your life and health. Here are some conditions that can be helped with a Hot Tub:

Sleeping Problems
Spas are a great way to reduce stress, a common variable in sleep disorders. The decrease in body temperature when you exit the spa helps induce the feeling of tiredness. It is recommended you spend 15 minutes in a hot tub about 90 minutes before going to bed in order to improve the quality of your sleep.

Circulation and Blood Pressure
The massaging jets and warm water stimulate impulses of the nerves and help with blood flow, digestion and boosts your immune system. The heat also helps open up blood vessels, decreasing blood pressure.

Muscle Tension and Joint Pain
The warm temperatures of a hot tub relax your muscles and the buoyancy of the water takes pressure off the joints. These can help with pain or discomfort associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and other conditions. Massaging jets relieve pressure on your nerves and reduce tension in your body. Having multiple jets saves time by focusing on different areas at one time and you can control their intensity to accommodate your body’s needs.

Type 2 Diabetes
Participating regularly in hot tub therapy can help with symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, such as improving sleep, lowering your blood sugar, and losing weight. The buoyancy and water resistance contribute to light exercise routines that lead to weight loss and heart health. Consult with your doctor before trying hot tub therapy in order to ensure proper practices.

Enhance the therapeutic benefits of your hot tub by using the Spazazz line of products that are specially formulated for spa and bath use. These all natural blends of sensual aromas and moisturizing botanicals are spa-safe and oil-free, so they will not affect a hot tub’s pH balance or leave any oily residue behind. The therapeutic benefits of these products are numerous. They include such properties as being a natural remedy for aches and pains, an anti-inflammatory, a muscle relaxant for tension and stress, and a skin moisturizer.

Visit our website at http://www.tarsonpools.com/pages/spas.htm for ways to personalize your Hot Tub and make it a customized Family oasis as well as find out more information on the Spazazz line of products.

With all these great health benefits and relaxation products, it just makes sense to have a Hot Tub for your Family!

If you would like more information on purchasing a Hot Tub or any of the accessories please give us a call today at (315) 458-8800. Or stop into any of our seven locations to talk directly with a sales representative.

Pool Safety Tips


Pool season is finally here! With it comes a chance to revisit the Pool Safety Rules and Guidelines with your family and friends. It is important to make sure that everyone who will be using your pool and spa know the safety rules and guidelines to insure a wonderful pool season.

Post the pool and spa rules near the entrance of the Pool or Spa so that every time you get in you can view them.

Have your children take the Safe Swimmer Pledge:

1. I pledge to never swim alone

2. I pledge to never play or swim near drains or suction fittings

3. I pledge to always dive feet first

4. I pledge to obey the pool rules

You can go here to download a certificate to give them as a reminder about being safe in the pool.

Follow these Water Safety Tips from the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)

  • Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible.
  • Always brief babysitters on water safety, emphasizing the need for constant supervision.
  • Appoint a “designated watcher” to monitor children during social gatherings at or near pools.
  • Equip doors and windows that exit to a pool area with alarms.
  • Have a phone by the pool with emergency numbers programmed into speed-dial.
  • Post CPR instructions and learn the procedures.
  • Keep rescue equipment poolside.
  • Keep a first aid kit at poolside.
  • Maintain constant visual contact with children in a pool or pool area. If a child is missing, check the pool first; seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Don’t use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision. Never allow a young child in a pool without an adult.
  • Don’t leave objects such as toys that might attract a child in the pool and pool area.
  • Don’t rely on swimming lessons, life preservers, or other equipment to make a child “water safe.”
  • Never assume someone else is watching a child in a pool area.
  • Don’t leave chairs or other items of furniture where a child could use them to climb into a fenced pool area.
  • Let us not forget our 4 legged friends that like to have fun in the pool as well. We love our pets and they love to come play with us in the water so let’s make sure they are safe too.
  • Try not to let them drink the pool water, keep fresh water handy for them instead
  • Wash them off after their dip in the pool so the chlorine does not dry their skin
  • Make sure your dog knows where to enter and exit the pool safely, so they don’t hurt themselves clawing at the sides of the pool.
  • Just as with kids, take it slow and don’t overdo it. They get tired too.
    • One sure sign your dog is getting tired is that their back end begins to droop in the water, when this happens, it is time for a break
  • There are life vests available for all shapes and sizes of dogs.
    • Certain dogs such as breeds with shorter legs and broad chests (bulldogs, Corgi’s, Pugs, etc.) are not effective swimmers. They may need the support of a life vest.
    • Heavily muscled dogs such as Greyhounds with little body fat will not be as buoyant in the water and might need the life vest for support.

Always have a plan for First Aid.

For more tips for pool & spa owners visit poolsafely.gov.

Follow these safety rules for a safe and happy pool season. Call us today if we can help with any questions in regards to your pool or spa or to meet with a sales representative (315) 458-8800.


Hot Tub Myths: The Facts Behind the Fiction


It’s easy to fall for some of the myths about home hot tubs. Tarson Pools and Spas has been in the hot tub industry for over 30 years, so as experts in the field, we are able to dispel the false information about owning and maintaining a hot tub. Here are some of the most common myths and the truth behind them

Myth: Purchasing the least expensive hot tub in the store will save me money.
Fact: This statement is misleading because although you may save more money during the purchasing process, you might end up spending more down the road in maintenance. Low price spas can have less efficient insulation, pumping, heating or other essential actions. We recommend purchasing a hot tub with a higher MSRP during a promotion so that you get a quality spa for a price you can afford.
Tip: When purchasing a clearance hot tub, ask why it’s on sale. If it’s a discontinued model, ask your sales rep if you’ll still be able to purchase necessary parts in the future.

Myth: All jets perform the same function, so the more the better.
Fact: Jets are a great hot tub feature, but did you know they serve more than one function? There are massaging and pulsating jets, which perform two beneficial, but different functions. If you’re looking for the jets to massage certain areas of the body, find a model with jets that are located in the target areas. If you want jets that pulsate without a target area, find a model with the proper amount of jets for the size of your family.
Tip: If you’re purchasing a hot tub for health reasons, ask your sales rep about strength, position and function options on the spas they carry.

Myth: If the water has a strong chemical odor, the water must be clean.
Fact: A healthy hot tub will have a very light chemical odor. If the odor is strong, this could mean the water’s pH is not balanced or there are chloramines, water contaminants such as body oils or perspiration in your spa. Check your water’s pH balance to see if it is between 7.4-7.6. If the pH appears to be balanced, consult with a chemical expert at your hot tub supplier.
Tip: Check your pH balance every day to avoid chemical odor and imbalances. Also, check your filter frequently because this affects the health of the hot tub.

Myth: It’s okay to use household chemicals like antifreeze and bleach for my hot tub.
Fact: To avoid the hot tub water from freezing, some have tried adding antifreeze to the water to slow the process. Antifreeze is not only toxic to the skin, but it’s also very difficult to pass through the hot tub’s system. You can avoid this problem by winterizing your spa.
Using bleach to sanitize your hot tub water or cover is not a safe practice. It can irreparably damage the hot tub’s finish and the cover material. Use only the chemicals recommended when maintaining or cleaning your hot tub.
Tip: High levels of bromine or chlorine can act similarly to bleach and damage the hot tub. This is another good reason to test the water’s pH every day.

Myth: Chlorine is what causes my eyes to turn red and burn in the water.
Fact: Chlorine can cause slight skin irritation, but it’s not what is causing your eye irritation. The irritation is most likely due to alkalinity or an imbalanced pH. High alkalinity leads to the water becoming caustic and a low pH causes the water to become acidic. This is true of hot tubs as well as pools.
Tip: If your eyes become irritated, rinse them with warm water and dry them off lightly with a clean towel.

Myth: I don’t need to use chemicals in my hot tub because I have an Ozonator.
Fact: Although having an Ozonator reduces the need for chemicals, you still need to use the chemical cocktail recommended by your spa retailer. Ozone must be used with another sanitizer to maintain healthy water.
Tip: There is no hot tub on the market that only requires an ozone system to sanitize hot tub water. Jacuzzi offers highly innovative hot tubs systems that give you choices on water maintenance plans.

We hope disproving these myths and providing helpful tips will make your owning or purchasing a hot tub  a lot easier. If you have any questions on the information given, or on other hot tub topics, give us a call at (315) 458-8800. Hot tub promotions are going on now, so ask a sales rep about the offers available!

Owning a Hot Tub: Easy Maintenance in 6 Simple Steps

Have you ever wondered if you could afford a hot tub?  Most people CAN! And they’re perfect for CNY (yes, even winters) and easy to maintain too if you follow these simple steps:

1) Make sure your chemical levels are within the guidelines. For example, maintain a balanced pH level according to the chemical maunfacturer’s instructions. Water should be tested about once a week or more depending on use. (Check manufacturer guidelines.)When adding chemicals, do so one at a time in two hour intervals.

2) Clean your filter regularly. Insects, leaves, etc. may make their way into your filter and affect how it runs.

3) Sanitize your hot tub with chemicals to keep it clean. Many people use chlorine, but for a less harsh smell and effect on your skin, try bromine instead. It can be placed in by granules, tablets or nuggets and kills bacteria and germs. Other options include a mineral purifier or ozone, which lower the need for bromine or chlorine.

4) On average, change your water about every 90 days. This ensures the health of your hot tub and that you have the cleanest water experience. Check your manual for the formula on how often you should change your water. It’s determined by usage.

5) Use shock oxidizers to keep your water looking clear and to help break down things such as lotion, sweat, dirt, skin oil, etc. There are chlorine or non-chlorine shocks to choose from.

*Helpful hint: detergent on a bathing suit can cause your water to foam, so before entering the hot tub rinse your suit.

6) Leave your hot tub on at all times. This will circulate the water and keep things from building up, such as algae or dirt.

* Helpful hint: set the desired temperature and then give your hot tub about 30 minutes before getting in to achieve the perfect experience.

The specific maintenance of your hot tub is unique to the brand, model and size, so you can purchase a spa that fits your lifestyle. The experience of enjoying a hot tub far outweighs the basic upkeep responsibilities that go along with being a hot tub owner.

If you have any questions we would be happy to hear from you.

Only one Jacuzzi & Trivia

We are the exclusive Jacuzzi dealer in Central New York. This month Jacuzzi launched a new TV ad campaign. The campaign highlights how a Jacuzzi makes you feel and we couldn’t agree more.

The first ad features BBQ and since this is Memorial Day weekend which is known for BBQ we thought it would be a great time to share these with you!

Now for Jacuzzi Trivia:

Question: What did the Jacuzzi brothers invent that earned them a gold medal at the California State Fair in 1930?

Answer: The Jacuzzi brothers received a Gold Medal Award for their invention – a new type of pump that drew water out of the ground more efficiently than any pump that came before it. They successfully revolutionized hydraulic pumps used for agriculture.

By the 1950s, the Jacuzzi brothers utilized their expertise in hydraulics to benefit a young family member stricken with painful rheumatoid arthritis. They created an aerating pump designed to be submerged in a bathtub to provide pain-relieving hydrotherapeutic treatments. source

We want to wish everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!  All of our stores will be open on Sunday May 27th & Monday May 28th to assist you with your pool and spa needs. 

Know Your Chemicals:

We’ve already helped you understand the basics of proper water balance for your pool (You can read more about that here.) Now we want you to know your chemicals!

Pool chemicals are a very important part of pool/ spa ownership and maintenance. But how much do you really know about the chemicals you keep in your home?

This post is designed to help you have a better understanding of the chemicals you will need to use to care for your pool and spas!

Chlorine: The most common of all pool chemicals. It comes in liquid, tablet and powder forms. Did you know that this is similar to the very chlorine you clean your homes with? The concentration level in chlorine for pools can be up to 95% the strength of home cleaners. Keep this in mind as bleach should not be used as a substitute to the pool grade chemical chlorine. Chlorine is used to kill bacteria in your pool and help prevent algae from growing and keep your pool safe foe swimming. Store chlorine in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight. When adding chlorine to your pool or spa be sure to follow the manufactures instructions.  Keep away from eyes as well as avoid direct contact with skin and clothing.

Bromine: Is a  disinfectants that can be used as an alternative for chlorine. In swimming pools, bromine is used against the formation and growth of algae, bacteria and odors in swimming water. Did you know in the United States, bromine has been used since 1936 to treat swimming water. Bromine comes as a powder of tablet form. Bromine is more stable than chlorine at higher temperatures and is more commonly used in Spas because of that. For spas it is used for sterilizing and disinfecting the water. Store in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight. When adding Bromine to your pool or spa be sure to follow the manufactures instructions.  Keep away from eyes as well as avoid direct contact with skin and clothing.

SoftSwim: Softswim is similar to chlorine but different in that it kills bacteria differently. Softswim acts as microscopic fly paper. The bacteria (and algae) are attracted and stick to it where they die. Millions of other microscopic particles also accumulate on the it  and the chemical  is ultimately trapped in the filter. These “sticky” particles accumulating in the filter make chemical cleaning of the filter  essential. When adding Softswim to your pool or spa be sure to follow the manufactures instructions.

Algeacides: Is a pesticide used to kill algae. Algeacides come in liquid for and are a very high concentration pesticide that is designed to be diluted in your swimming pool.  It is normally used in addition to other pool chemicals for maintaining the balance of the water. Store in a cool dry place. Be sure to follow the manufactures instructions for application.  Safety is key for proper use keep away from eyes as well as avoid direct contact with skin and clothing.

Pool Shock: There are several different types of Shock treatments.  Before using any of these treatments  you should always check with your pool professionals to know which type is best for your pool and spa. Be sure to follow the manufactures instructions.  Keep away from eyes as well as avoid direct contact with skin and clothing.

CALCIUM HYPOCHLORITE: Calcium Hypochlorite is a popular and effective chlorine-based type of shock.

LITHIUM HYPOCHLORITE: Although not as widely used as Calcium Hypochlorite, Lithium Hypochlorite is also an effective chlorine-based type of shock, particularly for those regions with typically high amounts of calcium in the water.

DICHLOR (GRANULAR CHLORINE): A powder form of chlorine, which is sometimes used a chlorine-based shock. Granular chlorine is a popular chlorine-based shock to help kill algae and for winterizing a pool.

POTASSIUM PEROXYMONOSULFATE: Potassium Peroxymonosulfate, which is almost universally packaged and sold as “non-chlorine shock,” is typically used with bromine. Once added, non-chlorine shock will oxidize the ammonia, killing Bromamines, while at the same time, reactivating the existing bromine, allowing it to continue to sanitize and disinfect the pool water.

It is always best to consult with your own pool professional before using any chemicals in your pool.  Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific products you are using and handle with care. If you have any questions our experts would be more than happy to help you lean more at any of our 6 locations.
If you are interested we are holding a Pool School this week on  Thursday, May 3rd at 7pm at our North Syracuse Location, 6071 E. Taft Road. We do ask you RSVP for the event by contacting Joanne at 458-8800 X326.  There is no charge for this class. Learn from the professionals how to properly open and treat your pool. If you’re THINKING about buying a pool, come learn how easy it will be to maintain.  Refreshments will be served. We hope you can join us to learn more!

Come on in and enjoy some shade

The season is officially upon us! After all it was a record breaking 90 degrees out yesterday,  it’s only April!  All our locations are now open and ready to help you with your pool and spa needs!


Our hours are currently:  Monday-Friday 9-530 Saturdays 9-3 AND beginning April 22nd we will be open on Sundays 10-4. Visit one of our six locations.

North Syracuse
6071 E. Taft Road
N. Syracuse, NY 13212
(315) 458-8800

East Syracuse
6802 Manlius Center Road
E. Syracuse, NY 13057
(315) 463-7727

4310 W. Genesee Street
Syracuse, NY 13219
(315) 487-0330

432 Genesee Street (Rte 5)
Oneida, NY 13421
(315) 363-1004

203 N. Homer Avenue
Cortland, NY 13045
(607) 758-3550

0325 Waterloo-Geneva Road
Waterloo, NY 13165
(315) 781-6323

This season we are featuring Solair Shade Solutions.  If you are looking to add some shade to your home and backyard consider a Solair Shade. Contact a store location for more details!

Don’t end up looking like this guy this summer get shade solutions that work.

The Therapeutic Uses of the Family Spa:

Muscle relief  is one of the most often thought of therapeutic uses for spas, but did you know owning a hot tub can help you get a better night’s sleep and other healthy results?

Therapeutic Results:

  • A Better Night’s Sleep:

The National Sleep Foundation, which offers sleep-related education and research, included this in a Facebook post on Healthy Sleep Tips: “Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as a warm soak in a whirlpool bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.”

  • Rejuvenation & Better Circulation:

Warm water or Hydro therapy promotes stress release and  can ease minor aches and pains. The heat of the water helps increase blood circulation which is essential to getting your body the vitamins, nutrients and oxygen it needs to function.  Relaxing in a hot tub can increase vasodilatation which allows vitamins and  minerals to more easily flow through the bloodstream, helping soothe sore and over worked muscles.

  • A Bonded Family:

These days with activities and tech gadgets ruling our days as well as our children’s owning a  hot tub can be a great way to bond together as a family without the distractions.  A hot tub offers a place to connect  and relax as a family. Parents can remove  stress from their day and the kids love to play. Having trouble connecting with your teen? The family hot fub can offer a great time to talk with your teens with out the distraction of computers, cell phones and video games.

  • Less Anxiety:

In the early 1900s, mental institutions in the United States used whirlpool tubs and other forms of hydrotherapy to calm agitated, out-of-control patients. According to “A History of Somatic Therapies,” published by the Veterans Administration Mental Illness Research and Clinical Center, doctors in the 1920s were able to document positive physiological changes when patients were treated with submersion in a special whirlpool tub. The water flow and temperature were adjusted by an attendant, and notable changes in blood pressure, pulse and respiration were observed and documented in the agitated patients. Similarly, whirlpool therapy can alleviate the stress and anxiety you may be experiencing from work or family issues. A demanding career and the search for a healthy balance between work and family are reasons to use a day spa to help you unwind. The day-spa experience can be created at home with a whirlpool tub, aromatherapy sea salts, candles and soft music while you soak and relax. (source Livestrong.com)


Tarson Pools and Spas Spa School

Want to learn more consider attending our Spa School on November 10, 2011 at the East Syracuse location. RSVP with Angel at 315-463-7727.  More details can be found here: Tarson Pools

Fall and Winter Hot Tub Maintenance

The temperature is falling,  and the leaves changing colors. Fall is great time for apple cider as well as planning  your fall and winter hot tub maintenance routine.

If you’re not planning to use your hot tub this winter, you will want to properly winterize it.  If you will be using your hot tub during the chilly winter months here are some  quick tips for maintenance to keep your hot tub working properly. Disclaimer: these are tips for proper care. Please consult your manufacturer recommendations as well.

Regular maintenance is important to extend the life of your spa. And it only takes a few minutes a week.

Weekly Check List:

  • Test Chlorine Levels.  Be sure they fall between 3-5 mg.
  • Test the PH level. You want to be right between 7.2-7.6.
  • Is your water foaming? Use Anti Foam. Be sure to follow the instructions on the   bottle and use a spray bottle to apply.

If your spa is exposed to the elements, it is also important to care for the cover. Air drying is best when it is possible.  We also suggest using cleaners specifically for cover cleaning.

Other reminders for winter maintenance.

Monthly Check List:

  • Shock you Hot Tub with a suitable agent for your unit. It’s important to keep your water clean and clear.

Periodic Check List:

  • Clean hot tub cover with a cover cleaner.
  • Change water
  • Replace Hot Tub filters (6 months- 1 year)

Proper hot tub maintenance will help your spa retain its beauty and performance, and ensure it continues to be a source of stress relief, relaxation and family fun for years to come.

If you have questions or want additional information we can supply you with all the information, supplies, and accessories you need.

Want to learn more consider attending our Spa School on November 10, 2011 at the East Syracuse location. RSVP with Angel at 315-463-7727.  More details can be found here: Tarson Pools