Category Archives: Blog

SLC Pool Frog Prevention: Fencing, Covering, Pool Floats

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on how to keep frogs and other small animals away from your swimming pool. While these creatures aren’t directly harmful to humans, they can carry diseases around and are also commonly an annoyance for those who spend lots of time in the pool area.

At Packman’s Pools, we’re happy to offer a wide range of expertise and assistance themes for any of our swimming pools or custom spas in Salt Lake City. Have you noticed a greater presence of frogs or any other smaller water-adjacent creatures in or around your pool area? Here are some general tips on helping minimize their presence without hurting them or inconveniencing yourself.

pool frog prevention fencing

Barrier Fencing

Fencing is another good option when it comes to keeping animals away from your pool, but you want to ensure you go with the right fencing type here. Standard slat wooden fences, for instance, won’t do much to keep frogs or other small animals out of your pool. Most likely, they’ll be able to scurry right through the slats before you know it.

High-density polyethylene pipes are a much better choice for fencing, since they’re more solid and ensure that little creatures won’t be able to squeeze their way through.

Pool Covering

Covering the pool when it’s not in use is valuable for several reasons, and prevention of animal incursion is one of them. Covering the pool keeps it clean and ensures that there are no stray leaves or other debris potentially falling into your water. It also helps keep out any frogs, snakes, birds, mice, wasps, mosquitos, bees, toads and other small creatures whose presence could pose a problem for you or your loved ones.

When purchasing a pool cover, look for those made of strong material like PVC. They also act as insulation when the weather is cooler, helping reduce how often you’ll want to heat or otherwise use your pool.

Pool Floats

Frogs are considered prey animals, meaning they have protective instincts that will tell them to stay far away from anything they perceive as a predator. For this reason, you may consider placing scary-looking pool floats around the perimeter of your pool. For instance, prop one or two inflatable alligators around to deter any frogs from getting too close to the water.

You might also consider placing a scary-looking toy shark in the pool. In reality, small amphibious creatures have no reason to fear them – but they’ll still give off an air of danger to any frog or other small animal, and they won’t want to come near them.

For more on how to keep frogs and other small animals away from your pool, or to learn about any of our swimming pool design or construction services in Salt Lake City or any other part of Utah, speak to the team at Packman’s Pools today.

Pool Frog Prevention: Reasoning and Basic Methods

While some might not realize it, there are multiple species of frog that are common in the state of Utah. And while these are generally harmless creatures that improve the environment, there are a few places you don’t want them spending time — and one of these is your swimming pool.

At Packman’s Pools, we’re here to not only offer comprehensive swimming pool construction services, but also to offer basic tips on the care and maintenance of your pool for years into the future. Are frogs or other small animals a presence on your property who you’d like to keep away from your pool? This two-part blog series will go over some basic tips on why this is a good idea, plus how you can go about protecting your pool from frogs and other wildlife.

pool frog prevention methods

Why Swimming Pool Frog Prevention is Important

Frogs, along with other amphibians and reptiles that are similar to them, may not attack or cause physical harm to humans — but this doesn’t mean they’re completely safe. Specifically, they’re known to carry salmonella and other dangerous bacteria, and contact with these contaminants may risk human health.

For these reasons, you definitely don’t want frogs and other amphibians spending too much time on your pool deck or in your swimming pool. Fortunately, there are multiple steps you can take to keep them away from your property — which Packman’s Pools will cover shortly.

Trim Trees and Remove Foliage from Pool Perimeter

One primary method for preventing frogs and other amphibians from taking up residence near your pool is by cutting trees and other foliage in this area. While you may not have planned to do this when first building your swimming pool, removing any foliage that surrounds the outside of your property can help deter frogs and other animals from spending too much time there.

How exactly will trimming trees and cutting back shrubs reduce these amphibians? Frogs tend to be wary of open water sources — so for them to traverse the space surrounding your pool, it can be helpful if they don’t have to jump over anything. This is especially important in more urban areas where trees and shrubs are most prevalent, as other types of animals may also use these safe paths before ending up near your swimming pool.

By cutting down any branches that hang close to the pool deck, or cutting back bushes that are near the outside of your property, you can remove much of this potential threat.

Remove Potential Frog Food Sources

Much like humans, frogs need to eat food to survive. For this reason, many of these amphibians may be inclined to frequent your swimming pool if there’s any type of food — such as bugs — that they can find around the perimeter.

In fact, studies have shown that frogs tend to spend more time in swimming pools when these food sources are present — so by removing any potential food that may be lingering nearby, you can keep these animals at bay.

For more on how to prevent frogs and other small insects from invading your pool, or to learn about any of our swimming pool or spa services, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.

Bleach for Pool Cleaning: Stabilizer and Other Alternatives

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on utilizing bleach instead of chlorine to disinfect and sanitize your swimming pool. Bleach is actually a form of diluted chlorine itself, and due to recent shortages and price increases of chlorine on the market, some pool owners have considered utilizing bleach as an alternative.

At Packman’s Pools, we’re here to help with noy only swimming pool planning, design and installation, but also with important details like the type of cleaning chemicals you use in your pool. Today’s part two of our series will go over a couple more important details about the use of bleach here, plus one specific alternative that some pool owners may consider.

bleach pool cleaning stabilizer

Importance of Stabilizer

One theme that’s important for any chlorine-cleaned pool – and therefore for bleach-cleaned pools as well – is the use of what’s known as a stabilizer. Most commonly cyanuric acid, but also sometimes made up of other chemicals, stabilizers are in place to maintain the longevity of chlorine.

This is because, under normal circumstances, chlorine breaks down in sunlight much faster than in other settings. It breaks down so quickly, in fact, that if chlorine is used in a pool that has direct sunlight beating down on it, it will become useless too quickly to actually provide proper sanitation. But if you use a stabilizer, this breakdown effect is slowed and limited. Bleach, as a form of chlorine, breaks down the same way – while you’ll need to use less stabilizer in most cases, as bleach is a lower purity than straight chlorine, speak to our team about stabilizer levels you should use along with bleach.

Salt Water Alternative

For some pool owners, there’s an entirely separate alternative to consider here: Salt water sanitation instead of chlorine or bleach. Many salt water pool systems offer lower maintenance costs and other long-term benefits, plus require far less chlorine or bleach – or even none in some cases.

Professional Assistance

Before you consider any significant change to the chemicals or methods you use for sanitizing your swimming pool, it’s vital to seek professional expertise. Our team will be happy to answer basic questions and provide recommendations on how best to clean your pool, plus how to utilize treatments in “stages” rather than all at once, which might create long-lasting damage. We can also advise you on important themes like chlorine testing kits for bleach or chlorine levels, which are very important to be aware of.

For more on how to properly sanitize your swimming pool using a few different potential approaches, or to learn about any of our swimming pool or hot tub services, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.

Bleach for Utah Pool Cleaning: Chlorine Shortage, Concentration Themes

There are a few areas every pool owner will be interested in, and one of these is the prevention of germs and contaminants in your pool’s water. As many are well aware, even those who don’t own a pool themselves, the most common chemical used for the treatment of swimming pool water is chlorine – but some recent societal developments have many pool owners asking about alternatives.

At Packman’s Pools, we’re happy to not only offer a wide range of swimming pool design and installation options in Utah, but also to provide expertise on the proper care and maintenance of any of our pools. Why are some pool owners wondering about using bleach instead of chlorine for their pool sanitation and cleaning needs, and is this an option for you? This two-part blog will go over everything you need to know.

bleach pool cleaning chlorine shortage

Chlorine Shortage

You might be wondering why this subject is coming up now. After all, chlorine has been used as the primary pool sanitation chemical for decades without any issue – why the change?

Well, because of societal circumstances. Specifically, there are significant supply shortages when it comes to chlorine production, shortages that began during the COVID-19 shutdown – and from which the industry has not fully recovered. Not only is chlorine harder to come by, it’s becoming significantly more expensive due to basic supply and demand themes.

As a result, some pool owners are wondering if they can use bleach instead. Let’s dig into this subject.

Bleach is a Form of Chlorine

Some people who own pools don’t realize a simple fact: Bleach is a form of chlorine. The real difference here is the concentrations that are used.

For pool-grade chlorine that you’ve likely purchased in the past, which comes in tablet, granule or liquid format, chlorine content will be anywhere from 65% up to nearly 100%. In cases where it’s pure chlorine, it will actually be known as hypochlorous acid.

Bleach, on the other hand, is far more diluted. A standard jug of Clorox bleach will only contain about 5% or 6% of sodium hypochlorite, a form of chlorine, while the rest will be water. Some bleach formulas also include colorings or fragrances.

Proper Blend

So if you’re wondering whether you can use bleach in place of chlorine for your pool sanitation, the answer is yes – if the proper formulation is achieved. Generally speaking, you’re looking for the highest possible ratio of sodium hypochlorite and/or chlorine to any other substances in the bottle, especially water. In addition, you should avoid any bleach formulas that contain fragrances or other unrelated chemicals, as these are not necessary for pool cleaning and may even make the process harder. Labels and online product pages should contain detailed information on the chemical makeup of bleach, making it easy for you to find the highest concentration possible.

For more on using bleach in place of chlorine for pool cleaning, or to learn about any of our swimming pool services in Utah, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.

Swimming Pool Waterfall: Pros, Cons and Cleaning Tips

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some general basics on swimming pool waterfalls and how they’re often used. Also often called grottos, pool waterfalls are becoming more and more popular as additions to modern-day pools – both for their aesthetic value and their multiple areas of practical use within the setup.

At Packman’s Pools, we’re here to help with numerous areas of custom swimming pool design and construction, including for those who desire a pool waterfall or some similar type of feature as part of their setup. If you’re considering this theme but aren’t sure whether to pull the trigger, today’s part two of our series will go over the benefits and drawbacks of these installations, plus some basic cleaning and maintenance tips if you do decide to move forward with a pool waterfall.

swimming pool waterfall pros cons

Benefits of Pool Waterfalls

There are several key reasons you might consider installing a pool waterfall, including the following benefits:

  • Basic aesthetics: Waterfalls make your pool setup look luxurious and classy.
  • Water circulation: This adds several practical benefits, from improved filtration through reduction of algae buildup and even cooling in hot climates.
  • Increase in the “play” or leisure are of the pool, when designed correctly.
  • Blocking or muffling background noises, such as nearby traffic, pool equipment or surrounding animals.
  • Oxygenation: Falling water also often oxygenates a pool, which removes harmful particles and supplements filtration.

Possible Drawbacks of Pool Waterfalls

Now, there are a few potential drawbacks of pool waterfalls for some pool owners, including the following:

  • Maintenance and cleaning: Waterfalls create an additional cleaning and maintenance need, one that gets larger the bigger the waterfall is. There are several variables here, from the actual waterfall itself to its pump and various crevices that dirt may build up in.
  • Erosion: Artificial rocks or other structures may erode over time, especially if you have saltwater in your pool.
  • Weather damage: The risks of weather damage are higher for pool waterfalls due to exposure.

If any of these seem like concerns that aren’t worth it to you, you should consider whether installing a pool waterfall is really ideal.

Basic Cleaning Tips

If you do decide to install a pool waterfall, how should it be cleaned? Ideally, all you’ll need is a scrubbing brush and some dish soap, which you’ll use to clean all the sections of the waterfall. First, be sure to turn off the waterfall and drain it completely before you begin cleaning – you also might be able to detach certain components and clean them individually. If you need a little water pressure, use your garden hose or perhaps even a pressure-washer for this need.

For more on swimming pool waterfalls, or to learn about any of our swimming pool design or construction services, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.

Swimming Pool Waterfall: Basics, Costs, Alternative Uses

At Packman’s Pools, when we say “custom” pool builds, we truly mean it. Our custom swimming pool design and construction services are utilized by clients to create unique, one-of-a-kind pool setups, featuring numerous potential design elements, aesthetic upgrades and related themes.

One feature of a pool design that’s become more and more popular over recent years for several reasons: A pool waterfall, which adds both aesthetic and practical value to any pool setup. What defines a pool waterfall, what does this sort of addition to your pool design typically cost, and what are some of the general pros and cons of a pool waterfall for your situation? Here are several themes to keep in mind.

swimming pool waterfall costs

Pool Waterfall Basics and Design

Most of us know what waterfalls look like, and pool waterfalls conform here within a few specifics. Also sometimes called grottos, pool waterfalls will have a few shared features:

  • They will start above the overall waterline of the pool
  • Water will flow over the edge through powered pumps

Beyond these basic characteristics, however, pool waterfalls can vary significantly. They come in varying shapes and sizes, plus utilize several different natural (rocks) or artificial (concrete, brick or synthetic) materials for the actual structures. They can be integrated into elevated tanning ledges or spas, also.

An additional consideration here: Maintenance, which tends to be a bit higher for pools with waterfalls. Their internal pump components may require a bit more upkeep than other pool fixtures, for instance, and any walls or structures must be kept in good shape.

Cost Considerations

Costs of a pool waterfall addition will vary pretty significantly depending on the waterfall type, where it’s being built, it’s size, and several other factors. Standard cascade waterfalls, the type that are usually built into the side of a pool or into a separate raised wall, will generally run between $1,000 and $4,000 depending on size, but there are also other custom models or setups that will be much pricier.

In addition, the maintenance areas we went over above add some costs to your operational needs. Plan for around $30-$50 per month in additional maintenance costs for a standard waterfall, or more for a specialized custom waterfall.

Alternative Uses

One major part of the value of a pool waterfall is the several additional or alternative uses it’s good for:

  • Tanning ledge: Waterfalls can be used in several ways on tanning ledges, including being built into the ledge itself.
  • Spillways: If you want, your waterfall can flow down from an elevated spillway, including one from a story or two up.
  • Retaining walls: Waterfalls are often built into retaining walls around the pool, offering higher elevation.
  • Spa or hot tub: You have numerous options here, from waterfalls flowing into a spa or hot tub to options where the waterfall flows out of the hot tub.

For more on installing a waterfall as part of your custom swimming pool, or to learn more about our pool design and construction services, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.

Considering a Utah Infinity Pool Design Format

Modern technology and design have allowed upgrades in several areas, and swimming pools are a great example. For instance, one especially sleek and modern design type that’s becoming more popular over recent years within the pool realm is known as the infinity pool.

At Packman’s Pools, we’re happy to help with numerous swimming pool planning and design themes for a wide range of different pool types, sizes and styles. We’ve introduced clients to a number of modern pool design themes or setups, and we’ll happily do the same for any of our Utah swimming pool clients. What exactly is an infinity pool, and what are some of the factors you should consider if you’re thinking about installing one on your property? Here are some basics.

Utah infinity pool design

Infinity Pool Basics

Also known as an infinity edge pool or a vanishing edge pool, an infinity pool refers to a swimming pool with a lowered edge on at least one side. This lowered edge makes the pool appear like it goes on forever at this edge, hence the “infinity” name.

In reality, though, this water is just falling over the edge and cascading into a trough. At this point, it’s pumped back into the pool and goes through the same cycle over again. In other cases, such as when the pool is inground, you may see these pools referred to as “overflow” pools as well.

Cost Factors

As you may have guessed, infinity pools tend to come at a higher cost than a standard pool setup. This is because there are several additional components, including retaining walls, pumps and motors for the water cascading into the trough, and many others.

Your final costs here will depend on a few variables, including where you place the pool and how large it is. For those who build theirs off a cliffside or related hill, these can be even more expensive, sometimes up to double the cost of a traditional pool of the same size.

Common Themes

Here are some common ways infinity pools are used on properties:

  • Installed overlooking a landscape or natural water body
  • Tiles on the retaining wall on the vanishing edge
  • Adding lights to the trough that catches overflowing water
  • Dark-bottom to increase reflectiveness of the water
  • In some cases, vanishing edges will be built on multiple edges or every edge of the pool

Important Variables

Here are some important themes or questions you might be wondering about for an infinity pool:

  • Safety: Infinity pools are completely safe, including when built on a hill or rooftop. There is always a wall that keeps anyone from falling over the edge, including kids.
  • Skimmer: Infinity pools do not require skimmers due to their overflowing design.
  • Automatic cover: Automatic covers can be added to infinity pools.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass pools can be made in the infinity design.

For more on an infinity pool, or to learn about any of our swimming pool options in Utah, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.

Prefab Swimming Pools: Choosing Concrete or Fiberglass

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on what are known as prefab swimming pools. Referring to options that are fully manufactured in a facility before being shipped to you for installation upon purchase, prefab pools are often ideal for many homeowners when it comes to basic installation and various maintenance themes.

At Packman’s Pools, we’re proud to offer a huge range of custom swimming pool design and construction services for numerous pool formats. If you’re considering a prefab pool design of any kind, chances are you’ll be choosing between the two most common materials used for these designs: Concrete and fiberglass. Today’s part two of our series will go over some important pool variables, then discuss which of these materials is best for each area.

prefab pools concrete fiberglass


When it comes to flexibility and the ability to withstand rocking or various forms of movement, fiberglass prefab pools tend to be the preferred option over concrete. Fiberglass is much more flexible than concrete, as you may have guessed, allowing for some wiggle room in either direction – concrete, on the other hand, is extremely rigid.

This means that if movement does occur, whether due to soil shifting underground or some kind of above-ground impact, fiberglass pools have lower risk of cracking. Concrete pools are still highly durable here, but strong enough movement might lead to cracks due to their lack of flexibility.

Shape Variety

Shape variety is one area where both concrete and fiberglass options boast good variation, but once again fiberglass tends to be the overall winner here. Generally speaking, there are just fewer shape varieties out there for concrete prefab pools, which are a bit tougher to manipulate during manufacturing – on the flip side, there are hundreds of different fiberglass prefab pool shapes, sizes and depths to choose from.

Surface Options

One area where concrete prefab pools hold an advantage is in their surface options. Fiberglass pools almost always come with a gelcoat surface, which is fine for most pool owners – but if you prefer a surface like plaster, pebble or even tile, concrete is your best bet.

Maintenance Themes

However, one major consideration if you’re moving away from the gelcoat surface: All other surfaces come with some pretty significant maintenance needs, which gelcoat does not. It’s smooth and nonporous, keeping away algae and making standard cleaning incredibly easy. Surfaces like plaster or tile, on the other hand, will require a bit more in-depth care, which is fine for some pool owners but not desirable for certain others.

For more on choosing between concrete and fiberglass for a prefab swimming pool, or to learn about any of our swimming pool or custom spa services, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.

Prefab Swimming Pools: Basics, Pros and Cons

There are several areas or industries where the term “prefab” will be used, and the swimming pool and hot tub world is a good example. Referring generally to “prefabricated” products, this is a category that simply means a given product was made beforehand at some kind of facility, often in sections that are easily shipped and then put together at their final destination.

At Packman’s Pools, we’re happy to offer a huge range of custom swimming pool design and manufacturing services, plus construction in several different formats. What exactly does the prefab title mean in the swimming pool construction world, what are some of the pros and cons of this format, and which pool materials might be utilized for prefab pools? This two-part blog series will go over several important themes to be aware of.

prefab swimming pools pros cons

Prefab Pool Basics

As the broad definition we listed above indicates, a prefab pool refers to an inground or above-ground pool that’s fully manufactured in a facility before being shipped to your home for installation. In most cases, prefab pools are desirable for those who want quicker installation rather than building a pool on-site, though there are other variables at play here.

There are two primary materials used for permanent prefab pools: Fiberglass and precast concrete. We’ll go over both later in our series.

Benefits of Prefab

There are several benefits of prefab pools for those who go this route:

  • Quicker installation based on previous construction, often far quicker than other methods.
  • Less noise during the building process, including on your property.
  • Multiple installation options, including above-ground, inground and even semi-inground.
  • In some cases, cheaper due to being smaller and having fewer size limitations.

Drawbacks of Prefab

There are also some potential drawbacks of prefab pools depending on your needs:

  • They are smaller than other types, and usually cannot be larger than about 16 feet wide and 40 feet long.
  • They require a bit more maintenance because they have porous plastic surfaces. However, their tile surfaces are very easy to maintain.
  • Lifetime costs: These kinds of pools may experience certain larger costs over time, such as the need for more chlorine, more extensive cleaning demands and certain resurfacing needs in other cases. However, modern prefab pools use improved materials that make this less of a concern that it would have been even a few years ago.
  • Fewer options: Finally, for those who really want a unique pool, some prefab options are limited to certain shapes. There may be freeform designs from many manufacturers, however, another area where modern technology has improved in recent years.

For more on prefab pools and whether you should consider one, or to learn about any of our swimming pool or spa construction services, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.

More Cold Weather-Friendly Pool Materials

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on which pool materials tend to do best in the cold weather. There are several high-quality pool materials out there today, each with different specific qualities – which is the best choice if winter use and maintenance are top priorities for you?

At Packman’s Pools, we’re happy to offer a wide range of custom swimming pool material options, from fiberglass swimming pool construction to several other choices. Why should you be thinking a bit differently about pool care during the winter period of the year, and which material is best for those considering this and other pool care areas in their selection? Here are some basic areas to go over.

cold weather pool materials

Vinyl Material

Another material often used for pools is vinyl, which is incredibly versatile – it’s used in some format across numerous industries and specific applications. One of these is for swimming pool liners and materials.

Vinyl pools are some of the most budget-friendly out there, and they’re common in areas that have cold winters. Their structure is held using poured concrete, similar to a fiberglass pool we went over in part one, but the walls are made of polymer and won’t crack in cold weather.

On the flip side, vinyl liner surfaces may have some issues during winter if they aren’t protected properly. This liner material is a bit fragile, and may crack during extremely cold temperatures. It may also form tears that lead to leaks later on. If you’re able to limit extreme temperatures in this area, however, vinyl does very well during the winter.

Making Your Choice

As we noted in part one, fiberglass materials tend to be the best overall for cold weather, especially in places like Utah where sub-freezing temperatures are common. The materials are flexible and strong, both for the surface and structure of the pool, and will withstand temperatures on both sides of the spectrum. While vinyl pool structures also have similar benefits, their liners are a bit problematic and make fiberglass the prudent choice if winter care is a top priority.

Filing or Empty?

One additional question we’re often asked by clients and wanted to mention here: Should you drain the pool for winter or leave it filled? Logic might indicate the former, but we actually recommend leaving water in as long as it’s protected – pools that are empty may float out of the ground, and the results of this are much more severe than any minor risks of a freeze-thaw cycle from leaving the water in. On top of this, brittle pool liners are at even greater risk if you leave the pool empty, and they will almost certainly crack.

For more on choosing the ideal pool material for winter care and upkeep, or to learn about any of our swimming pool design or construction services, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.