5 Reasons to Buy a Pool in Winter

Winter Pool Building - Maryland - Hohne Pools

Should you build a pool during winter? The short answer: Yes.

While cold weather may not inspire you to think about swimming outdoors, winter is the ideal time to buy a pool. Here are 7 reasons to build a pool during winter.

  1. Be Ready for Summer. Building a pool in January, February or March ensures you’ll have a swimming pool in time for summer. After all, if you wait ’til July to build a pool, the swimming season will be almost over.
  2. Avoid Delays. Like it or not, pool installation projects don’t always finish on schedule. Delays happen, usually because of rainy or inclement weather. While some delays are avoidable, others can’t be helped. Starting a pool construction early is smart planning and gives you a cushion in case of delays.
  3. Do Your Research. Starting your swimming pool purchase in winter gives you time to do your research, compare pool products, evaluate pricing, review warranties and choose a pool installer. Start early and give yourself time to evaluate the top Maryland pool builders and choose one you can depend on.
  4. Get to Know Your Pool Builder. When summer gets here, your pool installer is going to be busy…VERY busy. If you meet with your builder early, you’ll get more quality time to ask questions and get comfortable with your pool builder. (Pro Tip: Get to know the Hohne team).
  5. Get the Best Pool Pricing. Sometimes the best deals on pools and pool installation come during the off-peak season. Use our “Request an Estimate” form to get a free pool design estimate. We’ll help you design a pool that suits your budget.

Pool Design EstimateIf you’re thinking about building a pool in 2013, we’d love to show you why we’re consistently one of the top Maryland pool builders. We’ll answer your questions, get to know what you’re looking for, and help you choose a pool design that suits you.

What to Do If Your Hot Tub Water is Cloudy or Foamy

One of the most common problems hot tub owners have is cloudy or foamy pool water. Maintaining a clean, clear hot tub is relatively simple, although it does require some attention. Here are some tips on what to do when your hot tub is cloudy or foamy.

Cloudy Hot Tub Water

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If your hot tub water is cloudy, it’s likely due to one of three things.

First, your water could simply be a few months old and need to be replaced. Even with proper hot tub chemicals, your hot tub water will get a bit tired from time to time. Replacing the water may resolve the cloudiness.

Another common cause of cloudy hot tub water is improper chlorine levels. Be sure to follow your hot tub manufacturers guidelines for chlorine. Too much or too little chlorine can leave your hot tub cloudy or create an unhealthy hot tub environment.

Finally, check your pH levels. If your hot tob’s pH is too high or too low, you may have cloudiness. As with chlorine and other chemicals, check your hot tub manufacturers recommendations or consult a pool and spa professional.

A product called clarifier can help reduce cloudiness in some cases. However, you’ll want to make sure you’ve gotten to the source of the problem to keep your hot tub from getting cloudy again in a few weeks.

Foamy Hot Tub Water

Detergents carried in on swimsuits are a common cause of foamy hot tub water. Lotions, hair care products and other body products can also cause foamy water. However, foamy water may also be a sign of low sanitizer levels.

To reduce or prevent foamy hot tub water, stick to a careful water maintenance program. It’s also a good idea to rinse guests’ swimsuits before a dip in the hot tub. A quick rinse in the shower while wearing your bathing suit can help rinse off any chemicals and detergents.

When you’re done in the hot tub, consider rinsing bathing suits in cold water, rather than washing them in detergent with the rest of your laundry. This will cut down on detergent getting into the spa or hot tub and will extend the life of your swimwear.

Is It Time to Replace Your Hot Tub?

If you’re having consistent problems with your hot tub, it may be time to upgrade. We carry the most popular hot tub brands in our Balitmore hot tub showroom. To learn more about the hot tubs we carry, contact us via our hot tub sales page.

Guide to Hot Tub Insulation

Hot tub insulation is one the most important energy efficiency factor in hot tubs, so choosing a hot tub with the right insulation for you is the best way to keep hot tub heating costs down.

Hot tub insulation comes in three basic varieties:

Basic insulation is typically a thin layer of polyurethane. A major advantage of basic insulation is the low cost. Basic insulation is sufficient for indoor hot tubs; however, it doesn’t provide adequate insulation for outdoor hot tubs, which means your hot tub will be more expensive to heat during winter months.

(Side note: Check out our blog post about the best hot tubs for winter)

With full foam insulation, the area between the hot tub shell and cabinet sub-floor is filled with a thick layer of solid foam. Foam insulation is an excellent way to insulate and support the hot tub shell. Full foam hot tub insulation can be slightly more expensive, but provides better insulation value than basic insulation.

Layered insulation – also known as blanket insulation – involves installing layers of insulating material between the cabinet walls and the spa shell. Layered insulation makes it easy for hot tub service technicians to access the inside your hot tub if you need repairs. The layers can be quickly removed and replaced, saving time and money.

When choosing a hot tub, consider how and where you’ll use the hot tub. Will this be an outdoor hot tub? Will you use it during winter? Layered insulation is probably best for you. Looking for a low-cost option for an indoor hot tub? Basic insulation should suffice.

If you have questions about hot tub insulation, contact us using our form and we’ll get back to you promptly.

My Hot Tub is Freezing…What Should I Do?

If you live in a region of the country where the snow sticks — meaning the air temperature drops below freezing long enough to freeze the ground — you have a hot tub season and you have winter! Now, you can run up your electric bill to crazy sums by leaving your hot tub running all winter — day and night — so the water doesn’t freeze and damage it (which doesn’t just drain your account, but the life out of the hot tub’s pump and the heater) or…

You can winterize your tub!

Winterizing your hot tub simply means getting all of the water out of it. In practice though, it’s a little more complex. However, it doesn’t take a genius to winterize your tub. There are four places from which you must drain the water:

  • tub
  • pump
  • heater
  • lines

Emptying the Tub

Access the drain plug on the bottom of the tub or siphon the water out from the top with a hose. It’s that easy!

Draining the Pump and Heater

Drain the water from both the pump and the heater using the petcocks (bleed valves) found on the bottom of each unit’s casing. First however, disconnect both units from the lines. With a pipe wrench, loosening the connecting couplers.

Draining the Lines

To drain the lines completely, — most of the water actually drains out once you disconnect the heater and the pump — use a shop vacuum, on the ‘‘blow’’ setting. Press the end of the vacuum hose up against the jets and it blows the water out the bottom of the pipes (where they were attached to the heater and the pump before you disconnected them).


The hot tub froze and you think there might be damage. DO NOT TURN IT ON! If there is ice in the system and you turn it on you may ruin the pump and the heater.

Remove the heater and the pump, open the petcocks and put both units inside your house to drain. Inspect the lines for cracks. Remove the jet covers and check for internal damage — cracks in the plastic — then inspect the basin of your hot tub. If there aren’t any visible cracks, you may have lucked out. Otherwise you may need to replace the cracked PVC, jet housing or have someone plastic weld the basin.

If you think your hot tub is ok, reconnect the heater and pump, fill the tub until the jets are covered using buckets of hot water from your bath tub, then kick it on. If everything seems in order, you’re set. If the pump or heater isn’t working, you need to take them in to be repaired.

Hurricane Sandy Pool and Hot Tub Damage: What to Do

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many Maryland hot tub and pool owners find themselves dealing with damage. While pool and hot tub repairs may be secondary to other post-Sandy home repairs, repairing a hot tub or swimming pool and preventing further damage is key to protecting a major investment.

Here are some things to keep in mind if your pool or hot tub was damaged during Hurricane Sandy (or any other weather event):

  • If your pool was winterized prior to Hurricane Sandy, consider a pool inspection. Water levels may have risen or fallen in your pool, pool covers may have blown out of place, and debris may have punctured your pool lining or pool cover.
  • Check to make sure pool and hot tub covers have not been damaged or gone missing. A damaged pool cover is an insufficient barrier to entry and may pose an entrapment risk. A missing pool cover leaves your pool dangerously unprotected.
  • Check for standing water in your pool or hot tub. If you don’t clean up standing water now, you may forget about it by spring, when it will become a breeding place for mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus and other threats to public health.

If you need emergency pool repair services or hot tub repair services in Maryland, contact us via our contact form today.