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Above Ground Pool with Deck

How And When To Open Your Above Ground Pool

With spring fast approaching, you’re probably already excited about getting your above-ground pool ready for use. But as any seasoned pool owner can tell you, opening an above-ground pool is a bit more complicated than just slipping the cover off. Even when covered, the stagnant water in your pool can cause serious health concerns, while freezing winter temperatures may have damaged your pool’s components and equipment.

Opening and preparing an above-ground pool for use can be an exhausting process, and it is best to let professionals handle it. But it is possible to do it on your own. Just follow these steps, and your pool is ready for swimming in no time.

1. Remove any leaves or debris that have settled on the pool cover. If there’s standing water remaining, use a cover pump to drain it out. Once it’s free of debris and water, remove the cover.

2. Spread the pool cover on a wide, flat area and clean it with cover cleaner, water, and a scrub brush. If a commercial cover cleaner is unavailable, you can use car shampoo as a substitute. Let the cover dry out and store it in a sealed container.

Note: Check the pool cover for tears and other signs of damage. Be sure to have damaged covers repaired or replaced as soon as you can.

3. Remove all plugs from all the openings as well as filter hoses, return-jets, skimmer basket, and ice compensator if present.

4. Reinstall the plugs and hoses into the pump and the skimmer basket and the return-jet into the return line.

5. Add water to the pool until it reaches proper levels. Use a hose filter to remove any impurities and make sure the water level reaches the halfway mark of the skimmer’s opening.

6. Install ladders, handrails, and other deck gear into the pool. Check each component for signs of damage or corrosion and replace it if necessary.

7. Plug in and switch on the water pump. For pumps with sand filters, make sure the valve is turned to the backwash position to prevent old water left inside the filter to drain out into the pool. Be sure to check for leaks while the pump is running.

8. Brush the walls, floor, corners, and other nooks and crannies of the pool. Use a leaf net or rake to skim off any floating leaves, bugs, and other debris from the water’s surface.

9. Let the water to circulate for 8 to 12 hours.

10. Test the water to make sure it has the right balance of chemicals. You can use readily available liquid test kits to check the water chemistry or take a sample to your trusted pool dealer and have them test it for you.

11. Shock your pool with the recommended amount of chlorine and other chemicals. Do your pool shock at night or dusk to prevent the chemicals from burning off too quickly.

12. Let the pump run for another 24 hours and retest again. If the results come out clean, then the pool is ready for use.

If you find the process complicated or you’re unsure you’ll be able to do it properly, don’t be afraid to ask your pool dealer for assistance. Showrooms like Smith Pools offer maintenance services that can test, clean, and prepare your above-ground pool at a reasonable price.

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Hot Tubs 101: A Buying Guide

There are a lot of great reasons why you should get a hot tub. But if you’re seriously looking to buy a tub, you’re probably concerned about how to purchase one. And with the cheapest hot tubs costing thousands of dollars, you need to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your money.

Here are some key factors to consider when buying a new hot tub.

Purpose

Do you plan on using your hot tub for entertaining guests? Or do you need it for medical reasons? Your purpose for purchasing a tub will determine the specific model to buy. If it’s for physical therapy or pain relief, for example, tubs with a whirlpool or hydromassage jets are recommended. If it’s merely for leisure, tubs with various jet configurations and additional amenities like mood lighting or an audio system are great choices.

Hot tub dealers such as Smith Pools often have showrooms with various fully functioning hot tubs on display. We recommend visiting your local dealer, who is often more than eager to help you find a hot tub that’s right for your needs.

Indoors vs. outdoors

Another vital factor to consider when buying a hot tub is whether you’re going to place it indoors or outside. Outdoor tubs need to have good insulation and a sturdy frame to withstand various weather conditions. Indoor hot tubs don’t need to be that durable, but they do have to be compact enough to pass through doorways and hallways to its final location.

Regardless of where you put your hot tub, you need to make sure it is on a level surface. The tub must also have access to steady water and power supply as well as an adequate drainage system.

Capacity

Hot tubs vary in sizes and capacities, with the smallest ones capable of comfortably seating four, while larger luxury models can accommodate as many as seven people. Of course, the bigger the tub, the more expensive it is.

If you intend your hot tub to be for personal use only, a small tub with a capacity of two to four people would be a practical choice. However, if you have a large family or plan on using the tub for social gatherings, a medium or large model is more suitable.

Maintenance

Owning a hot tub can be expensive, but what most people don’t know is that a considerable part of the expenses goes to keeping it in running condition. A hot tub needs to be maintained regularly to prevent algae, corrosion, and germs from spreading and potentially harming it and your health.

Ideally, you should invest in tubs with higher-quality components and features that emphasize low maintenance. A high-performance pump and filter, for example, may cost more initially but require less cleaning chemicals.

When’s the best time to buy a hot tub?

Prices on hot tubs dip at certain times of the year. Hot tub dealers usually offer discounts at the end of and the beginning of a new year to clear space for new models and inventory. The slow months of February and October are also when dealers usually offer markdowns. Manufacturers also post special sales promotions, especially on Labor Day and Memorial Day.

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Above Ground Pool Products

6 Pool Products That We Recommend

Whether you’re a brand new pool owner or experienced enough to do a pool shock blindfolded, you need the right type of tools to keep your pool clean and safe to swim in. Today you can find a wide variety of pool equipment and accessories that promise to make swimming in and maintaining your pool an easier experience.

The following are the best products we recommend to have for your pool:

Robotic cleaners

Tired of cleaning your pool by hand? A robotic cleaner may make it easier. Although they have had a mixed reputation in the past, advances in technology have made robotic cleaners nearly as effective or even better than conventional side pressure cleaners. And since they are entirely autonomous, you don’t have to be around for the cleaner to work. You can switch it on in the morning, go to work, and come home and swim in a newly cleaned pool with no effort on your part.

Sand filters

Pool filters come in all shapes and sizes, but the most reliable type, in our opinion, is still the humble sand filter. A mainstay in swimming pools for decades, sand filters effectively remove both small and large particles in the water. They are the most efficient way of removing algae and microscopic impurities from the water without resorting to harmful chemicals. Also, filter sand is cheap and easy to replace compared to other types of filtration media.

Pool mineral systems

If you’re wary about using chlorine in your pool, pool mineral systems are a good alternative. Mineral systems use a mix of minerals to help sanitize the pool while keeping chlorine levels down. Such systems cut down on maintenance time and chlorine costs and eliminate chlorine-related problems like faded liners and bleached bathing suits. Also, mineral systems have the added benefit of keeping the water softer.

Saltwater systems

If you want to do away with using chlorine tablets for your pool, upgrading to a saltwater system is the way to go. As its name suggests, saltwater systems replace pool chlorine with a version of chlorine that’s derived from salt. It’s just as effective at sanitizing the pool but without the adverse effects of chlorine. And contrary to common misconceptions, the salt is diluted enough that the water keeps a neutral taste.

Stain preventers

Stain preventers are additives that help prevent stains from forming on the pool’s walls and floor. Imbalances in your water’s pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness often cause these stains. Regular cleanup usually fixes minor staining, but if it is persistent or if the stains are too severe, adding a preventer with the weekly chemical mix should restore the chemical balance and effectively dissolve any stains.

Phosphate removers

Phosphates are organic wastes that naturally build up in a pool over time. This waste provides food for algae, which, if left unchecked, will let spread and eventually take over the pool. Your local Smith Pool dealer can test your pool for excessive phosphate content and recommend phosphate remover to clear up phosphates and green water caused by algae.

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KAMIKA RESIN POOLS 52

The Smith Pools Above Ground Pool Advantage

For more than 40 years, we at Smith Pools and Spas have been a trusted name in above-ground pools in the Mid South. No matter your budget, our team of professional employees will make you a high-quality pool that’s enjoyable for the whole family.

Here are just some of the benefits you’ll get should you decide to have your above-ground pool installed by Smith Pools:

Wide variety of pool styles to choose from

We offer a large selection of above-ground pool designs that vary according to color, material, and frame size. You can select from weather-resistant steel frame pools, resin frame pools for saltwater, and hybrid pools that combine the benefits of both metal and resin frames.

To help you make an informed decision, we also have 17 filled pools of various sizes and styles on display at both of our locations. We also have low-pressure, non-commissioned sales staff on hand in our stores to help you while you shop. And whatever type of pool you choose we can guarantee you will get the best price thanks to our low overhead rates.

Soft and durable vermiculite layer

All Smith Pool installation packages include special high-quality vermiculite layered underneath the pool liner. Unlike mason sand commonly used in above ground pools, vermiculite is softer, more resilient, and will not wear holes in the liner over time. It is also much cheaper and does not require a dump truck to deliver to your house.

Durable, seamless pool liners

The pool liner is one of the most visible parts of an above-ground pool, so it’s only right that it should be of the best quality. We only use Kafco liners, which are made of bleach-resistant material and coated with UV inhibitors to prevent fading and sun damage. We also treat them to resist algae growth and help extend the life of the liner. And unlike conventional pool liners with visible seam lines on the pool floor, Kafco liners have a special “ultra seam” design that makes the floor seams virtually invisible without sacrificing the liner’s integrity.

All-in-one installation

Smith Pools will handle all of the steps of the installation process from start to finish. We only use our employees, not subcontractors, to install the pools, ensuring each pool we install is of high quality.

We divide the pool installation process into two main parts: One crew digs the site, while another team assembles the pool. The dig crew will level the pool site to within half an inch around the perimeter of the pool and recess blocks into the ground to ensure the pool will remain level and stable. We also use a 1,000-gallon tank to pump water into the pool once we install the liner. So our build crew can detect and fix any wrinkles on the floor of the pool before the liner completely sets.

Once our workers install your pool, our store staff will be on hand to give you helpful advice on pool maintenance as well as recommend appropriate products and services to make your above-ground pool last for years.

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Above Ground Pool

Upgrading Your Above Ground Pool to a Saltwater System

Chlorine has been a part of pool owners’ maintenance routines for more than a century, but it does have its share of setbacks. You don’t have to settle for toxic chlorine tablets as saltwater systems are a safer alternative to keeping your pool clean and sanitary.

As the name suggests, saltwater systems use dissolved salt to create chlorine to sanitize the water in your pool. The chlorine generated in saltwater pools is similar to that found in chlorine pool tablets but without the compounds that cause the adverse effects commonly associated with chlorinated pools.

Why convert to a saltwater system?

The biggest reason people switch to saltwater pools is that it’s gentler to use. The chlorine from saltwater systems does not contain chloramines that cause the usual side effects like faded clothing, itchy eyes, and that distinct smell from chlorinated pools. The chlorine levels in saltwater pools are also more stable and have the same salinity of natural tear ducts, which is why it doesn’t hurt to open your eyes in a saltwater pool or let your skin and hair dry afterward.

Another benefit of saltwater systems is that they require less maintenance. Unlike chlorinated pools that need to be replenished with chlorine tablets every week, the chlorine in saltwater pools is self-regenerating. Pour some pool-grade salt in your pool, and it will generate enough chlorine for a month or more. And since you will only do periodic maintenance every couple of weeks, you’ll also spend less on test strips and cleaning materials.

Preparing your pool for saltwater conversion

Once you’ve decided to switch to a saltwater system, the first step you need to take is to prepare your pool. Preparation may involve draining water out of your pool, especially if it contains antibacterial agents that may counteract with the chlorine from saltwater. You also need to test the pool water for free chlorine, pH, alkalinity, heavy metals, calcium hardness, and other substances to ensure an optimum chemical balance once you add the chlorine. There are test kits available specifically for this purpose, although we recommend having the testing done professionally by your local pool dealer.

If your pool has galvanized walls or metal frames and parts, you will also have to switch them out for resin or vinyl material. Saltwater will gradually corrode the metal and cause the pool structure to weaken over time.

Converting your pool

There are now saltwater systems available that streamline the conversion process from start to finish. The process varies from one kit to another. Still, it usually involves dissolving pool-grade salt into the water, installing a chlorinator and chlorinator cell, and connecting it to the water pump. There are also advanced saltwater chlorine generators you can use to monitor the water’s salinity and temperature and adjust the chlorine output automatically.

However, because of the complicated process of keeping the water’s chemical composition balanced and installing the saltwater system, we highly recommended you have it done by professionals. Pool dealers like Smith Pools can expertly test and optimize your pool’s chemical balance and install the saltwater system at a reasonable rate.

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Nordic Hot Tubs

Why Choose A Bullfrog Hot Tub?

Hot tubs are one of the best luxuries to have, but not all are created equal. If you ask us, Bullfrog Spas is one of the better options. A leading manufacturer of hot tubs in the United States, Bullfrog Spas offers a luxurious personalized spa experience with its reasonably priced hot tubs.

If you are looking for a new hot tub for your home, here are several great reasons why you should get a Bullfrog Spas hot tub from us.

Customized, Efficient Hydrotherapy Experience

The most popular feature of Bullfrog Spas hot tubs is the modular JetPak Therapy System that allows you to customize the tub’s seats and water massages. Customers can choose from 17 interchangeable JetPak modules that direct water pressure to specific parts of the body. The height and jet power of each module can also adjust for a more comfortable experience.

Aside from customization, the JetPak System is also more efficient as it uses 90% fewer pipes than a standard tub. The reduced plumbing means less water friction and increased water pressure, ensuring all seats run at optimum pressure at all times. So there’s no need for diverter valves, and you don’t have to worry about uneven water pressure.

Cutting-Edge Water Care Systems

Bullfrog Spas hot tubs come fitted with a series of advanced water care systems that ensure clean, healthy water without the need for additional toxic cleaning agents and chemicals. Bullfrog’s patented EOS O3 water purification system is twice as effective in removing impurities and is validated to kill 99.9% of germs in the water. Each tub also features SmartChlor technology that uses 75% less chlorine and keeps chlorine levels in the water at a minimum, resulting in clearer, softer water that only needs to be shocked once a month.

Better Heat Retention

Because Bullfrog Spas has 90% less plumbing, there is less chance for heat to escape from the water while traveling from the pump to the jets. Each tub also uses 100% closed-cell full-foam insulation throughout the interior of the structure, locking heat inside the tub even in the coldest climates.

The JetPak Therapy system saves more heat by being housed inside the proprietary H2Air manifold that’s submerged in the water. The design transfers heat generated by the system directly into the water instead of dispersing the heat into the air. This innovation makes Bullfrog Spas tubs one of the most energy-efficient hot tubs in the market and among the few that are capable of recycling heat from the equipment.

Durable Construction

Hot tubs with wood or metal frames typically rot or rust after three to five years. Bullfrog tubs do not have this problem as they consist of a wood- and metal-free Enduraframe support structure. This patented frame is 100% molded ABS, which is lightweight, waterproof, and impervious to corrosion. Bullfrog Spas also has fewer holes drilled into the seats and frame, reducing the chance of leaks. And if maintenance is needed, most of the plumbing can be easily accessed through the JetPak housing instead of underneath the structure like with conventional tubs.

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Does a Hot Tub Increase the Value of Your Home?

Chances are if you’re interested in getting a hot tub, your first thought wasn’t about your home’s value. Relaxation? Retreat? Sure, but as it turns out, getting a hot tub does come with the bonus of a home value boost—under the right circumstances. So, when can a hot tub increase the value of your home?

When a Hot Tub Adds Value

The key to getting value out of a spa is making it look like part of your property as if it were designed and built when your home was. Your goal is to avoid letting it look like an afterthought or temporary structure. For instance, when the spa is in-built, consider linking it to your home’s water system or build it into a deck or patio.

Often this entails more than just adding a hot tub unless you already have an ideal existing space. For instance, you may build a deck around it, add a tiki bar, and some landscaping to create your own little backyard retreat. It doesn’t have to be that elaborate, even a small gazebo or trellis with privacy shade can do the trick as long as it causes the spa to blend with your home aesthetic.

When a Hot Tub Does Not Add Value

If making a hot tub look like part of your home adds value, the opposite is an obvious reason a hot tub wouldn’t add value—a temporary look. The issue is that hot tubs just sort of set up on a deck or in the back yard can easily be shut down and moved. In this sense, they add no more value to your home than a nice car parked in the driveway. Pretty, but not considered in the home’s valuation.

Poor maintenance is another common reason hot tubs fail to add value to a home. Potential buyers don’t see worth in something that’s just going to make more work for them and fixing up or removing an old hot tub nobody cared for qualifies there.

The quality of the hot tub installed also factors in. A low-quality hot tub is more likely to require more maintenance on top of being less appealing to home buyers. You can save yourself time and trouble and increase your home’s value in the process by doing your research before buying a spa.

Utilizing the Value of Your Hot Tub

Alright, all that said, if you’re sold on buying a hot tub, there are a few simple things you can do to maximize the value of your hot tub in regard to your home value.

First, ensure that the hot tub replacement blends well with your desired space and the overall look of your property. Add attractive landscaping to maximize the aesthetic appeal of the spa. Next, ensure that you maintain your hot tub by replacing filters, worn out parts, and other components.

Lastly, be sure to pick out a good quality hot tub that will stand the test of time and minimize repair costs. Remember, the goal is to ensure the spa looks new to potential buyers and well incorporated into the look of your home.

If you need help with any of the above, Smith’s Pools is here to help. Give us a call to get started.

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Pool Closings

How to Decide If You Should Close Your Pool for the Winter

As the leaves fall away and winter sets in, you might be beginning to ponder what to do with your pool for winter. Should you shut it down, or assuming it’s heated, continue to use it? Keep in mind that the easier route may not actually be what’s best for your pool.

If you are unsure of what to do with your pool this winter—no worries, here is a breakdown of the pros and cons to help you decide whether to keep your pool open or not.

Keeping Your Pool Open in Winter

The decision to keep your pool open is your choice, but your physical location may play a predominant role. There are several factors to consider before you decide to keep your pool open during winter.

• Maintain Your Pool
Deciding to keep your pool open comes with the responsibility to maintain it. It is imperative to maintain your pool throughout the winter season if you choose to keep it open. The maintenance of your pool includes cleaning the filter, balancing the water, and maintaining pool equipment.

You do not have to use as many chemicals to maintain your pool in winter. This is because the cold temperatures help preserve the chemicals in the water as less chorine is lost through evaporation. You can also reduce your pump’s run-time.

• Freezing Pool Lines
Many pool owners fear equipment damage caused by freezing temperatures during winter. Ensure a constant flow of water by running the pool to prevent the lines from freezing. You can also buy a pool timer with freeze protection for extra precaution.

• Salt Systems
If you are using a salt system for your pool, ensure that the temperatures do not drop to a certain degree because the salt system itself may stop working.

Closing Your Pool for the Winter

You may want to have more freedom during winter. Closing your pool will alleviate you of all the duties and responsibilities that come with keeping it open. However, it also comes with a price.

The process of closing your pool starts with adjusting chemical levels to ensure that chlorine, pH, and alkaline levels are stable. Next, if you live in a frozen area, ensure that you drain your pool 4 to 6 inches below the skimmer. Do not remove all the water because its weight keeps the pool in place. The expanded soil can pull the pool out of the ground without that weight.

Clean the pool by vacuuming it as well as scrubbing and sweeping the walls and skimmer baskets. Remove all the ladders, toys, diving boards, and floats from the pool area. An essential step before closing your pool is to blow pool lines because failure to do so might destroy the piping and equipment when the temperatures dip below freezing.

Finally, shut the pump equipment and cover the pool using mesh covers or safety covers.

Whatever option you choose for your pool this winter, Smith Pools can help. We offer both winter maintenance plans and pool-shutdown services. Get in touch today to get started.

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Tips to Accessorize Your Hot Tub

Fall is the ideal time to get your backyard ready for family and friends to connect and have some excellent time together in the spa. By itself, a hot tub is unique, but to improve its experience, you can spice it up by adding some accessories.

Add Plants for a Natural Look

The best thing about accessorizing with plants is that they give your space a sense of peace and tranquillity and add color. Mixing low ground cover with plants will make your spa look natural and well blended with your property or home. It will look more inviting to your family and friends to relax and kick-back.

Gazebo

If you are looking to create a more private area around your backyard, a gazebo will work well. You can create a more private space by the gazebo by providing shade from weather patterns like rain and snow. Gazebos are not that expensive. You can find one that is cost-friendly and make your background more aesthetically pleasing.

Bluetooth Stereo

While reminiscing about old times, background music will help make the spa feel more relaxing. The benefit of Bluetooth stereo is that you can control it using your phone, so you do not have to make wet trips to the house. Connect to Apple Music, Pandora, or Spotify with just a click on your phone.

Convenience is crucial because you do not want to run back and forth to change the volume or the song. Bluetooth stereos are wireless and compatible with most phones.

Lighting

You want to use your hot tub in the evening, why not? When installed well, light can make your spa, and the entire backyard look not only spectacular but also feel great. Moonlights, for instance, will bring life after dark as moon shadows are cast all over the deck.

You can also opt to use color LED bulbs and shift between more than one color. The options are endless when it comes to lighting your spa.

Side-Table

Your spa is comfortable and looks great, but you also want to enjoy your favorite cocktail. Hot-tubs, music, drinks, and music go well together. You will want to purchase a side table or caddy that is convenient for holding your glass and other accessories.

If you have a Bluetooth stereo, you will want to have your phone near you. There is a range of side shelves that you can choose from to match your spa color or any other theme you are trying to accomplish.

Handrail

Children and the elderly often have a hard time getting into the hot tub and usually require an adult to lift them. A handrail can help those who have trouble getting in and out for various reasons. Most handrail base plates slip under the hot tub cabinet to ensure stability.

We believe that every aspect of your spa experience should be perfect. That’s why Smith’s Pool carries a wide range of accessories for you to choose from. Come check us out today, and then gather up your family and get ready for fun, relaxation, and a lot of bonding.

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Why Buy a Hot Tub for Your Family?

Thinking of getting a hot tub but not sure if it’s worth it? There are plenty of benefits that come with owning a hot tub you may not have considered. Here are just a few reasons you should consider buying a hot tub for your family as well as how to choose a good one.

Hot Tubs Ignite Meaningful Conversations

With the hassles of everyday life, the family rarely gathers around to have a meaningful conversation. After getting home from a busy day, people want to rest hence avoid a lot of small talk.

The advantage of having a hot tub is that no one will bring their gadgets for the safety of their phones and laptops. The kids will not be glued to their phones, scrolling through their Instagram feed. Naturally, a hot tub allows people to relax and unwind as they enjoy their favorite drinks.

When everyone’s mind is relaxed, they feel the need to share how their week was or what their goals are. This provides your family with an opportunity to bond the natural way away from the internet.

Entertain Guests

While pools are more commonly known for drawing a crowd, hot tubs can be an excellent alternative, especially for teens and adults. Having a hot tub can offer you a way to socialize with guests—and your family—more in a comfortable environment.

What Makes the Best Family Hot Tub?

If you are looking for a hot tub that is family-friendly, there are a few features that will work best. These features will be a good fit for the entire family.

• Easy Water Care
A hot tub should enhance relaxation, so it is not ideal if you are busy measuring out chemicals. This should not be a problem at all.

The best family hot tubs have a water system that makes it easy for you to care for it without a lot of hassle. It’s best to choose a hot tub that has a simple care package that purifies, filters, and regulates the levels of chemicals in the spa water. This system is automatic so that you will not struggle with all the droppers and test tubes.

• Seating Capacity
A family hot tub does not serve its function if a group of seven family members struggles to fit in a four-seat hot tub. You will spend more time struggling to scooch as opposed to relaxing and bonding.

Everyone must have enough room, and there should be different depths of seats for family members of all heights. After all, you do not want the kids entirely submerged in water.

• Fun Features
A hot tub is not all quiet relaxation. They can offer everyone from kids to adults, creative ways to have fun. It is essential to look for a family hot tub that has cool water jets, color-changing lights, or control panels that give you control of the spa aspects.

If you’re sold on getting a hot tub for your family and still not sure which to choose, give us a call. At Smith Pools, we have years of experience and a wide selection of excellent family hot tubs.

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