Monday, December 31, 2007

Salt Water Pools, Chlorine Generator; Equipment

Chlorine is derived from salt by subjecting salt to electricity, electrolysis. Salt water pools are not chlorine free but develop the chlorine from the salt in the water. There is no addition of the liquid bleach and makes it much safer from the harmful and powerful qualities of chlorine. The electrolysis system is installed in the plumbing of the filtering system, and has a panel for control. The only thing you add to the pool water is salt(3000 to 6000 ppm). You still have to maintain the acid level but it is much easier than usual. The water is much softer and delightful to swim in, one feels more buoyant and refreshed in this environment.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Pool Filters, Equipment

Mother nature has provided the best filter aid, sand and gravel. The older filters of this kind were huge and placed in an underground pit or in a equipment building. They were obtrusive and ugly, but they worked well. To keep a filter clean, back washing was necessary. One would simply reverse the flow of the water through the filter and deposit the dirt in a dry well, a cesspool like unit buried in the ground. The diatomaceous earth filter was introduced, it was much smaller in size, but still needed backwashing. The filter grids inside were coated with D.E. and the dirt would adhere to these grids and filter the water well. Every year, the filter had to be taken apart and the grids were cleaned separately by a hose with good water pressure and a brush. The filter tanks were stainless steal but later fiber glass was used. Then came the cartridge filter. With the cartridge filter there was no need for a dry well, thus cutting down on the cost of pool construction. One would simply disassemble the filter and hose off the cartridges. There are still sand and gravel filters and D.E. filters, but the cartridge filter took over the industry. They filter the water well and every couple of years the cartridges were replaced. The filter is a necessary product for a clean and sparkling pool. I found the D.E. filter was the best, but it is your choice.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Vacuum Heads and Hoses; tools

Vacuuming a pool is necessary to have a sparkling clean pool. In the old days, a pool was rectangular in shape with straight walls and a sloping bottom from shallow to deep. The vacuums were aluminum and not flexible. They were heavy and cumbersome, but with the introduction of a curved bottom pool, the vac heads were made to flex. With new plaster one had to use a brush vac so no wheel marks were left in the soft and curing plaster. After a month of using the brush vac, the plaster was hard and ready for the wheel vac. The flexs vac had 8 wheels on it for the standard size, 14 in. The silicone wheels were much better, they lasted longer. To vacuum a pool, the sides and the steps are brushed. The vacuum is put in the shallow end and one works toward the deep end, let gravity work with you. The vac hose comes in several lengths, depending on the size of the pool. A 30 ft. hose was ample for most pools. For larger pools the hose can be connected with shorter sections to suit the size required. Before inserting the hose to the suction line, all the air must be removed from the hose. If it is not you may loose the prime in the pump. With above ground systems it is time consuming and sometimes difficult to prime. With pool service a vacuum a week was mandatory.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pool Tile, Tile Brush and Soap

While swimming in a pool, the tile is at eye level. If the tile is kept clean, the swimmer is much more at ease and comfortable. Back in the 60s, we used to mix muriatic acid in the tile soap to loosen the hard particles that would accumulate on the tile. The down side of this was the acid solution would stain the pool deck. Ajax powder would clean the tile well but you had to put it on the brush several times for the entire pool. A thicker liquid soap was good for the entire pool. The new soaps have an agent for dissolving the hard deposits and cleaning the oils and scum. With the residential accounts, the owner is aware of the hazards of oil and is careful not to use it. Not only does it leave dirty tile but it is not good for the filter. Commercial accounts are a pain in the back because of the use of sun tan oil. Even though there are signs prohibiting its use, people are not supervised and use it anyway. After years, alkali forms on the tile and pumice is one way to eliminate the hard particles, but it is very strenuous. There are new methods for cleaning the tile, blasting the tile with glass beads or diatomaceous earth. There are people who do this job with special equipment for a nominal fee. Clean tile is a rewarding experience for the user and regular brushing helps keep things nice.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pool Landscaping , Yards and Plants

What grows around the pool is very important. When pool service is required, a well manicured and maintained surrounding is better for keeping the pool clean. The one bidding the job looks at the yard to see if there are any deciduous trees that overlap the pool, also messy bushes such as oleander and palm trees that are near the water. These plants look nice but add to the maintenance of the pool. The new trend are desert climate materials, cacti and low water use plants. Gravel and rocks offer a nice look! With ones imagination and planning, the environment around the pool can be pleasant and beautiful. Remember that a messy yard leads to a dirty pool. If you do your own cleaning there is more work to do and if you have service the cost will be more. A nice environment offers a serene and pleasant time in and around the pool.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Automatic pool cleaner; tools

For the energetic person who wants to service their own pool, the automatic pool sweep is the way to go. There is still a lot for the person to do. The chemicals need to be checked and the flow of the water through a clean filter is a must.. The leaf pot needs to be cleaned to allow the water a free unobstructed circulation. The product I have used is the Kreepy Krauler. It is a widely sold device with only one moving part. A wedge shape flapper, activated by the suction, is what moves the Krauler along by kinetic energy. Good water flow is important so the device works well. Even though the pool is vacuumed, the steps an walls need to be brushed regularly to assure a clean pool. The Kreepy Krauler is well designed, with minimal up keep to let it last for years.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Skimmer Nets and Wall Brushes, tools

The skimmer net and the wall brush are a must for a clean pool. Skimmer nets have evolved from a complete net to one where the net can be replaced. The standard net was a net between a stainless steal rectangular tubular frame in different depths, 6in to 12 in. They were a durable net but would wear out where the net met the plaster, which meant buying a complete net at a high cost. The later leaf nets allowed one to replace the net only, keeping the stainless steal frame for future use. A great savings for the pool man.
The wall brush comes in different lengths and is used to brush the walls and the bottom of the pool. By brushing the pool completely, one loosens any dirt that sticks to the plaster. By brushing in a circular direction around the main drain, and all the suction to the drain, the pool can be cleaned pretty well. The brush would wear out after a while, but they added stainless steal bristles by 50% which made the brush last longer and it was good for rubbing black algae growth that grows on the surface of the plaster. Times have changed but for the better.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Telescoping pool pole, tools

The telescoping pool pole is a must for anyone with a pool. There are two widely used poles, fiberglass and aluminum. I have never used the fiberglass pole but have heard some positive things about them. Aluminum was my choice, light weight and durable. They average in 8 ft lengths and about 15 extended. There is the elliptical lock and the cam lock. I used both and found the elliptical lock better. The cam lock has a devise on the end of the inside pole with a cam that locked the two together. The cam wore out and had to be replaced. The elliptical pole was just that, elliptical in shape and when the inside pole was twisted, it would lock in place. With time being important when one does many pools a day, the elliptical lock was my choice.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pool cleaners tools, Leaf Gobbler, Leaf Vac

The "leaf gobbler" is a very useful tool for cleaning leafs and other debris that accumulates on the bottom surface of the pool. The gobbler attaches to the end of the telescoping pole and a garden hose is attached to the gobbler. The water pressure creates a suction that works well for leafs and foreign material. It stores it in a bag above the gobbler. The better the pressure, the better the end results. Water pressure under 30 lbs does not work well. The mesh of the bag is important if one wants to catch sand, but after the dirt settles to the bottom, a quick vacuum is all one needs to make the pool inviting. When a gobbler is used, not only is the debris collected but the water level is increased. Good tool and I found it very helpful!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Swimming Pool Chemicals for a Sanatized Environment

The most widely used chemical for a sanitized germ free pool is chlorine. Chlorine is available at the super markets but getting it from a chemical retailer is best. Chlorine has a shelf life so getting it fresh is better. Along with chlorine, muriatic acid is used to stabilize the ph( potential hydrogen) in the water. The acid lowers the ph and prevents calcium and scale. The chlorine and acid work together in a good balance to produce a clean and healthy pool. Another chemical is cyanuric acid or conditioner. It is used to help stabilize the chlorine. The ultra violet rays from the sun, break down the free chlorine and the conditioner holds the chlorine in suspension so it can do the job intended. There are many Algaecides available if things get out of control. Check with for a good definition of algae. If you maintain a good chlorine residual, along with acid, your pool will sparkle and look inviting.