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Build a Fire Pit

Build a Fire Pit
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fire-pit

Build a Fire Pit

Fire pits are all the rage right now. What better place to enjoy cool Arizona evenings with friends and family than sitting around a roaring fire pit! If you have ever wanted to own your own fire pit, then you are in luck because we are going to tell you how to build your own.

Location, Location, Location

The first step is to designate where your fire pit will go in your backyard. Maybe next to your new Mirage Pool? Just make sure the fire pit is far enough from the house and nowhere near trees that could catch fire. Once you have your location it is time to mark your territory. Literally mark the circle where your fire pit will go so you are ready for the next step.

Dig Away!

You will dig out the area you marked up in the last step so that you can lay out the foundation of your pit. Once the hole is about 6 inches deep and even on the bottom, you can start laying your foundation. There are many ways to go about this depending on your back yard. We are going to suggest pouring a concrete ring around the inside of the hole that is the width of the stones you will be using for the wall since this was the most popular design on the internet. Once that has dried, you can begin laying your stones around the ring in a circle until your outer wall is complete.

Building Up

Now that your foundation is in place, you can begin building the outer wall of stone one layer at a time. Make sure to use something like mason glue or mortar to hold the layers of stone firmly together. Next you are going to want to line the inside of the wall with either a layer of fire brick or a steel fire pit ring to help insulate the stone from the fire. Once those are in place, you will fill the bottom inch of the pit with either gravel or small stones.

Top it off

The final step will be to line the top of the pit with flat stones so that you can rest your feet up on top or use the surface as a place to put your food or drink down while sitting around the fire. You can also put a removable grill grate on top of the fire for cooking.

All that is left now is to get the fire started and enjoy your fire pit with family and friends.

If all this seems a little daunting give Mirage Pools and Spas a call and we’ll be happy to build one for you!

-Chad Neujahr

10 Reasons Pool Water Turns Cloudy

10 Reasons Pool Water Turns Cloudy
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Top 10 Reasons Pool Water Turns Cloudy

top10

  1. Not enough Chorine
  2. Algae – live or dead
  3. Undersized pool filter
  4. Dirty pool or pool filter, and/or strainer baskets are full
  5. You’re not running your pump long enough
  6. Water is out of balance
  7. Excessive rain
  8. A large bather load
  9. Over or undertreating your water with chemicals
  10. Heavy pollen, use of pesticides or fertilizers around the pool

 

Chemistry: stay on top of it
Test your water often, and treat only as needed.  Most often, cloudy water occurs needlessly due to inconsistent water chemistry management and quite simply, not enough Chlorine.  It only takes a few minutes to test and treat your water regularly. But it takes a whole lot of time and money to bring your water back into balance.


Tip:
 Switch to salt chlorination and chemistry automation.  Automating chlorination and chemistry management will ensure consistent water quality and less likelihood of algae. Salt chlorination and chemistry automation will save you time and on chemicals cost.

 

Keep it Clean: your pool and equipment

Regular vacuuming, skimming and periodic brushing of walls, floors and hard to reach places like steps; will prevent debris from breaking down and the less chances for algae to form.  Keeping your filters and skimmer baskets clean and clear will allow them to perform better.   If you have a sand orDiatomaceous earth (D.E.) pool filter, they will need to be backwashed to keep your filter running efficiently. Unfortunately, you’ll lose water and chemicals in the process.

 

Tip:  Consider an automatic pool cleaner that will clean your pool automatically, scrubbing walls, floors and even steps.  An automatic pool cleaner will save you time and on chemicals costs.  Also consider alarge-capacity cartridge pool filter – they never to be backwashed so your balanced water stays in the pool where it belongs.   

 

Chemicals: Less is more
Test your water regularly BUT only treat your water as need.  Do not buy into the philosophy that more is better, less is!  It’s really about consistently managing your pool water.  Irregular chlorination will cause unhealthy chemical highs and lows, waste money and cause you problems.  The fewer chemicals you introduce to your water, the better your pool will run. Every time you add something to your pool water, that it doesn’t need, you increase your risk of potential chemistry, clarity, and safety problems.  More only means more money wasted, and more aggravation for you.

 

Tip: Switch to salt chlorination and chemistry automation.  Automating chlorination and chemistry management will ensure consistent water quality and less likelihood of algae. Salt chlorination and chemistry automation will save you time and on chemicals cost.

 

Equipment issues: undersized or inefficient
We can’t stress enough, enlist the help of a Pool Pro when installing or replacing pool and spa equipment.  They know the issues you’re faced with in your neck of the woods in terms of weather conditions and the types of debris that can land in your pool.  They will also take a look at your entire application – how many gallons your pool has, what the plumbing size is and how your pool equipment works together.  Undersized pool equipment will render it ineffective and lessen its life, while over-sizing equipment will waste energy and money

Chad Neujahr

Spring is in Full Swing!

Spring is in Full Swing!
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Spring is in full swing and how we’ve missed you!  Lets face it, we didn’t exactly have the harsh winter the rest of the country experienced but our weather is turning , blue skies are overhead and the anticipation of great pool side gatherings are ahead.  It’s time to forget the cold days (or kind of cool-ish days) and gear up for beautiful, warm sunny days.

Look for pool opening tips and ways to make your pool more efficient and enjoyable.

sunnyphoto

Chad Neujahr

Expert Pool Tips from Mirage Pools

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cleanService tips to help maintain your pool!

Anyone who has owned a pool will tell you just how much of a learning curve there really is to perfect the art of keeping and maintaining gorgeous pool waters all 365 days of the year.  There are certain things that you may have been doing to negatively affect the the quality and the health of your pool, starting with:

Adding The Pool Chemicals At The Wrong Time

There is a time and place for everything, including when you should be adding chemicals to your water.  Placing chemicals in the water in the morning or during the day, particularly during the spring and summer months, can severely decrease their effectiveness – especially when it comes to chlorine.  Whenever possible, add chemicals to your pool after the heat of the day has passed and the sun has gone down.  That way you can reduce evaporation and help ensure the stability of those chemicals.

Not Running The Pump For Long Enough

All too many pool owners have completely forgotten about just how important regular and proper circulation of their pool waters is for the health of their pools.  For the most part, pool owners need to be running their pump for longer periods of time to make sure that the water is continuing to circulate properly and that the water is flowing at a rate that will properly maintain the chemical balance of the water (which will then put a stop to the growth of bacteria and algae)

Underestimating The Affect Of A Crack

A small crack in the wall of the pool – not a big deal, right?  Especially if it’s above the waterline?  WRONG!  Even the tiniest of hairline cracks can have a major negative impact on your pool.  Water can and will seep out of such cracks, which will have a horrible and expensive impact on the foundation of your pool.

To build and maintain your new pool contact Mirage Pools and Spas for a free consultation.

– Chad Neujahr

Free LED Color Light Upgrade!

Free LED Color Light Upgrade!
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Right now Mirage Pools and Spas is offering a free LED ColorLogic light upgrade!

Tired of the boring same old pool light? Mention this blog  when purchasing your new pool and receive one free LED color light upgrade*! Hayward’s Universal ColorLogic pool and spa lights are forever transforming outdoor spaces.  These LED lights are delivering stunning, evening ambiance with gorgeous, vibrant colors.  Set the mood for seasonal events by matching your pool’s color to any holiday or party theme.  You’ll have the hottest outdoor space all while saving up to 86% on your energy bill.

These lights are 100% brighter than any other color LED light available which means they drench pools and spas with intense color – even pools with darker finishes or just one light.  And they’re UL listed for safe installation in virtually any new or existing pool.

You’ve seen how this one light is changing everything.  You can transform your pool and spa too with 10 rich colors and 7 light shows.  Saturate your pool with intense color or dial the color back with Hayward automation.  Create the ambiance you desire to match your every mood, whim and party theme.

Just be sure to mention this blog when buying your new pool and receive one free LED ColorLogic light upgrade!! 

*Offer valid on all new pool contracts signed from 9/1/2013- 9/31/2013

Hayward’s Universal ColorLogic Lighting 

Free LED color light upgrade!

– Chad Neujahr

Fourth of July Drinks to add some patriotic flare to your party!

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patriotic-drinks1Summer is here

Independence Day is upon us and the daily heat advisory warnings are in full swing. If you’re like the other millions of Americans, you’re planning on a fun poolside BBQ to help celebrate America. While a nice cool dip a Mirage Pools and Spas pool provides much needed relief from the sweltering Arizona sun, ice cold drinks are another great way to relax and forget about work for a couple days.

Well, thankfully Christina Marie has searched the internet and thrown together a list of  drinks that will add just the right amount of patriotic flare to any gathering.

For Fourth of July Drinks recipes Click Here.

Share your favorite recipes, stories and backyard décor.  Have a wonderful, safe, and yummy 4th!

Source: madebycristinamarie.com

 

– Chad Neujahr

Salt Water Chlorination System

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TurboCell
Salt Water Chlorination System Maintenance

Investing in a salt water chlorination system is a great idea for those who are tired of traditional chlorine systems that use harsh factory-produced chlorine. If you’re new to salt chlorination, there are a couple things you should know to get the most life out of your system.

There are two main parts to the salt water chlorination system; the salt control unit and the salt cell.  A very basic explanation of how they work is… the control unit controls how much chlorine is produced, and the cell actually turns salt into chlorine.   Proper water chemistry and a well maintained cell will keep your system working properly and your water sanitized.  Read below on how to keep your cell in great shape.

Salt Cell Tips
If you were told a salt chlorinator needs NO maintenance, sorry, but it’s not true.  It is true however, that the maintenance is minimal.

It’s very important to inspect your salt cell regularly and keep it free of scale. Scale is one of the most common challenges in maintaining  your salt water chlorination system.  It typically forms first on the salt cell plates where it can remain undetected until a problem advances. Once scale forms, it lessens the effectiveness and life span of the salt cell, which can lead to premature cell replacement.

Need to get your salt cell tested? Just Click Here and select “cell testing” under purpose of search.

How to clean your Hayward Turbo Cell – Video

 

– Chad Neujahr

Pool Maintenance – Tips Get Your Pool Ready for Spring

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Pool Maintenance -Tips Get Your Pool Ready for Spring

Opening your pool signals the start of warm weather and chillin PoolSide.  Here in Arizona we don’t exactly have to emerge from a long snowy winter, more like a brush with cooler temperatures. Nonetheless, you still need to do some simple pool maintenance to get warm-weather ready.

With our triple-digit temperature days comes daily pool use and doubling the pump run time. The first simple pool maintenance step toward getting back in great shape is spring inspection. Mirage Pools recommends calling on a local pool pro to inspect and start up your pool equipment. Often, this minimal expense pays off in the long run. A trained eye can spot safety issues such as missing suction covers, electrical or gas problems. If you prefer to do it yourself, here are some steps to follow.

1) Remove standing water, leaves and debris from the pool cover

2) Make sure your water is at the proper level

3) Lubricate or replace o-rings on pump lids and the equipment’s plumbing connections

4) Visually inspect equipment — pump, filter, heater, lights, automation system and chlorinator

5) Ensure drain covers are properly installed and secure

6) Make sure your heater is free of debris and has proper clearance of any combustibles

7) Power-up equipment and check for leaks or drips, and tighten connections, replace o-rings as needed

8) If using a DE (diatomaceous earth) filter, add the proper amount of DE.  If you’re using a cartridge filter, clean cartridges

9) Run your pump for several hours, then check and adjust water chemistry to proper balance. (Make sure your testing kit and chemicals are not expired)

10) Once adjustments have been made, shock the pool following label directions

11) Before running your automatic pool cleaner, remove any heavy debris from the bottom of the pool

12) Check the operating pressure on your filter and verify good water flow. It may need to be backwashed or the cartridge(s) cleaned

13) Re-install ladders and accessories that were removed and stored for the winter

If you’re looking for a pool pro in your area, just let us know. We would be more than happy to recommend a proven tech.

– Chad Neujahr

Top 5 List Of Things That Will Effect Your Water

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 Top 5 List Of Things That Will Effect Your Water

Water Pic2Are you having water trouble and can’t figure it out? Here are a few things to check that will help you with swimming pool maintenance.

Source water
Don’t assume tap water is good water for a pool.  Unfortunately, we live in a desert and the typical hardness in Phoenix tap water is as high as 1000ppm — 700ppm above the high end of the maximum concentration.

Circulation
The circulation time required to keep a pool clean and clear is normally 6-8 hours a day.  This varies due to bather load, water temperature, wind, rain, sunlight and pool chemistry itself.

Chemicals
Some pool chemicals actually contain minerals that can add to a calcium problem.

Phosphates
There’s been plenty of talk and about removing phosphates from pool water.  In truth, phosphates do not consume chlorine and do not combine with chlorine.  Rather, phosphates promote the growth of algae (the green, slippery stuff in a pool) which then consumes chlorine as it tries to destroy the algae.  The net result is that you can be left with less than the desirable amount of chlorine in your pool.

UV Light
In a salt chlorinated pool, UV light will speed up the conversion of chlorine back to salt.  A chlorine stabilizer (sort of like sunblock) will dramatically slow down this conversion keeping more chlorine available for a longer time.  Without this proper protection, the life span of the chlorine is greatly reduced.

Always remember: Clear water doesn’t mean good water, but good water will be clear.

– Chad Neujahr

Stone Bridge

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Richardson BridgeThis Stone bridge creates a smooth transition across the swimming pool. Your decking is the second most noticed part of your project. With a great design and countless products and finishes available the pool decking can add another dimension of style to your outdoor project.

 

 

 

 

– Chad Neujahr

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Visit Us: 5616 #103 Mesa, AZ 

Call Us: (480) 632-9252 

Fax Us: (480) 632-0253

Email Us: miragepoolsaz@gmail.com
http://www.miragepoolsandspas.com

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