Complete coverage of Texas' record heat wave of 2011

It's 100 Degrees, and So Is Your Pool

What's the best way to cool your pool? Not ice, expert say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Pool experts say the best way to bring down your pool's temperature is to keep the water moving with a waterfall or fountain. (Published Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011)

    North Texas' extended run of triple-digit heat has swimming pools feeling more like bathtubs.

    Pool owner Janet Shawen said her pool got up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit the other day.

    Want to Cool Off Your Pool? Don't Try to Ice It

    [DFW] Want to Cool Off Your Pool? Don't Try to Ice It
    Pool experts say the best way to bring down your pool's temperature is to keep the water moving with a waterfall or fountain. (Published Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011)

    She reads her pool thermometer every day when she comes home, hoping for some relief from the heat wave. But she rarely finds it.

    "I came home today, and my pool was 96, 97 [degrees]," Shawen said.

    But the way pool owners often think they can cool down their water -- lots and lots of ice -- doesn't work at all.

    Emergency Ice in Dallas said it's swamped with dozens of calls per day, said employee Donnell Toler. Most people are asking for blocks of ice weighing 300 pounds.

    But employee Donnell Toler tried adding two 300-pound blocks of ice and "about 1,000 pounds of the 35-pound bags."

    The giant blocks of ice only last for about 10 minutes each, she said.

    Mark Dana, Blue Haven Pool and Spa general manager, said the best way to bring the temperature down is keep the water moving with a waterfall or fountain.

    "Probably the least expensive way to keep your pool cool in this heat is to add a water feature to the pool," he said.

    And Shawen said she noticed a difference after adding mister, or aerators, to the sides of her pool.

    "It actually helps keep the temperatures cool," she said. "It actually helps move the water from the bottom of the pool to the top, and then it throws it out there."

    Her pool's average temperature is still warm -- about 85 or 90 degrees -- but it's relief she wouldn't otherwise get.

    "I'm not going to go without a pool," Shawen said.

    Chlorine evaporates more quickly in hot weather, so pool owners should test their water two to three times per week.