With the winter months upon us, it is time to heat the water in the pool. In the desert where I live, pool usage is a year-round experience. One can use the heater provided or they can use solar panels to produce free heat. The pool heater is rather expensive to use so solar panels are very helpful in reducing the cost. There are several solar panels available. One panel is plastic or PVC. The other panels are more expensive but are more efficient: they are the copper panel and the glazed panel. I have serviced many pools with solar panels. The solar system works very well when a pool blanket is used to help retain the heat. The pool temperature is around 70°. By using the heater one can bring the temperature up to a comfortable level. With the solar panels, the pool can be used in the cold months of the year at a reduced cost to the pool owner. Enjoy the pool!
Friday, August 29, 2008
I read in the paper that the recession is causing the home owner to service their own pool. Beware, if you don't have the time, don't take on the challenge. A pool needs at least several hours a week to do the task. In the hot summer months, chemical checking is important. The pool service technician receives the chlorine daily. There is a shelf life with chlorine, so getting it fresh is important. No telling how long the chemical sits on the shelf in the markets, also it is weaker. The filter needs cleaning and the pool needs to be brushed and vacuumed once a week. If you decide to do the pool, remember that a pool will turn green in a couple of days if not properly maintained. The expense in getting a pool back in shape, could be more than you save. Good luck in whatever you do to maintain a refreshing and clean pool.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
If the water level of the pool is to high, the skimmer won't work as it is designed to. The weir gate does not operate. In the old days this was remedied by a good back wash of the filter, draining the water to the desired level. With the introduction of the cartridge filter, there is no dry well. But there is a devise that fits in the suction of the deck skimmer, the suction turns an impeller that creates suction. This takes the unwanted water out of the pool and through a discharge hose that deposits it where ever you want. With heavy rains, and over filling, I found this product to be very useful. The skimmer on the pool helps to rid unwanted debris off the surface and provides a clean pool for use. The proper circulation of the water through a filter, along with the skimming action, keeps the pool clean and inviting for every one.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
It is nice to refresh in a cool pool in the hot summer days. Sometimes the water temperature of the pool is to warm to enjoy. The solution is a cooling tower! With water temperatures in the mid 90s, the pool needs more chemical and is not refreshing to those who exercise and swim laps. With a< "Swim Cool Systems"> cooling tower, the water can be cooled by 10 degrees. I like the water around 90, but I just relax and do not swim laps. With vigorous exercise you need to have cool water. The tower is installed on the filtering system with minimal work. Cooling towers have been in the industry for many years. Dry Cleaners, agriculture and other public works of water cooling use them. It is nice to refresh in a comfortable environment in whatever temperature you like, so cool down in your pool. Enjoy!
Monday, July 7, 2008
I went to my brothers pool after he left it unattended for a week, and it was green. The outdoor temperatures were over 105 degrees. The algae was thick, so I put in a gallon of ammonia, bought at WalMart for $2, and 4 gallons of chlorine. The next day the pool was blue, no more algae. The filter had to be cleaned because of the dead algae, that is a must. Also the chlorine must be checked every other day, for the ammonia and chlorine work together, the combination uses the chlorine to kill the algae. The use of the pool is on hold for a few days, but the end result is an algae free pool. Where the temperatures are high in the desert, the chemicals are used quickly. A floater chlorine container> with chlorine tabs inside, helps to keep the residual up and the water clear. Enjoy the pool.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Sometimes the leaf pot o-ring on the lid flattens out and causes a bad seal. What I did was to invert the ring putting the good side down and prevent having to buy a new o-ring. This would last many months and was a quick remedy for the leak of air into the system. When air comes into the pool by the return line, this was the first thing I would check. Enjoy the pool.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
There is a time clock on the pools that allows the owner to run the filter at their times. If service is done, then the person cleaning the pool will set it for the times convenient for them. In the hot summer months, it is advisable to run the filter for 10 hours or more and about six hours in the winter. If the pool receives a lot of use, more time is needed for filtering. Also running the filter at night will lower the temperature of the water. If the water is to warm, one can cool the water by evaporation. A devise is installed on the return line that pumps the water through a sprayer over the surface of the pool. In the desert the water temperature of the pool is over 90 degrees, this temp uses more chemical and needs more circulation. Enjoy the water and be safe...
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Through time, a pool needs to be resurfaced. There are many ways to do a pool. You can paint the pool with the many products available. I never found a paint that worked well, after a short while the paint would cloud up the water when brushed and require a fresh coat. Painting a pool is something one can do their selves. Hiring a contractor to re-plaster the pool is another way. The old plaster is removed down to the gunite, by the use of a jack hammer, and a new coat of plaster is applied. For more money, the plaster mix is combined with granite or pebbles, a harder finish than plaster alone. There are different colors available with these additions. The pool looks more natural and this process will last for 10 years. One can fiberglass the interior of a pool, which leaves a smooth and durable finish. It is best to hire someone familiar with this technique. The pools at my place are fiberglassed and I am very satisfied with this surface and it lasts for years. Whatever you choose, the end result is like a new pool. Look into the techniques and make a choice.
Monday, May 19, 2008
The Anti-Vortex cover was a 1970 addition to the pool industry. Originally designed to prevent vortices in the suction line so the pump will not suck air, causing the pump to run dry and burn out. It also would prevent the suction from making contact with the body and hold the victim under water causing them to drown. The plate is attached to the opening of the suction line by screws. Side wall installation is easy but the main drain is more difficult. The water can be drained or one can dive into the water and attach it while holding their breath. In Jacuzzis the suction is great for the jet suction line, so a cover is a must. There is a law that these covers be used in commercial pools, but it is a good idea to use them in a residential pool. All in all, they are good at preventing a vortex where a pump sucks air and keeps the swimmer safe from the potentially dangerous qualities of the suction intake.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Sometimes leaks are evident in the plumbing of the filter system. One can hire a plumber to do the work at a nominal fee, or you can fix the leak yourself. There are products on the market such as A&B Epoxy and Fiber Glass Pipe Wrap. I just used the Wrap and found it easy and sufficient for the low pressure that is in the filter system . There are plastic gloves with the Wrap kit and you follow the directions supplied. After letting the Wrap dry, the filter can be turned on and no more leak. Very inexpensive and it works. Whatever you choose, the leaks need attention, for a leak free system is better. Enjoy the pool...
Monday, March 17, 2008
The solar pool blanket is a very good product. It holds in the heat, produces heat, maintains the water level and holds the chemical balance for a longer time. The blanket is a clear plastic with bubbles that magnify the suns rays and transfers the heat to the water. If one goes to the expense of using the pool heater, the blanket holds the heat in the water and does not let it evaporate as fast. The blanket prolongs the use of the pool, but a system for removal is up to the users. The service price is usually increased because of the time it takes for one man to remove it and keep it clean. There is a Reel available to remove the blanket that makes it easy for one person, otherwise the blanket can be left in the pool and folded and tied to the side. The blankets last a couple of years, and the savings are worth it. They come in different thickness' which determine the price, the thicker last longer. Enjoy the pool with free heat that the sun produces. Have a happy and safe time in the pool.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
There is a devise one installs on the filter system that generates Pure Water with electrolysis. The sanitizers produced are oxygen and hydrogen and copper for algae control. I have taken care of pools for 30 years and I feel that chlorine is the only sanitizer that works. Being from the desert where temperatures are high, water is vulnerable. Algae grows in warm water and the temperature of the pool water reaches 90 degrees plus, a perfect haven for algae. Copper is great for algae control, but do oxygen and hydrogen really sanitize the water? Where water temperature is stable, it might work, but chlorine has been the choice of sanitizing water that comes from our taps for drinking. I am for pure water, but sanitizing is important to kill viruses and pathogens and chlorine works. Enjoy the pool with whatever works, but be sure to sanitize the water.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Every four to five years, the draining of the pool water is good to help maintain the proper chemical balance. Through the years, hard particles stay in the water, they don't evaporate, so draining is the option. A chlorine wash may be necessary if algae is a problem. Do not mix the chlorine and the acid for that makes a lethal gas. Rubbing stubborn algae spots and using chlorine can brighten the surface of the plaster. It is not like an acid wash, where a thin layer of plaster is removed, but prepares the pool for fresh water. After the water has been replaced, adding conditioner(cyanuric acid) helps to hold the chemicals in the water so they can do the work set out for them. The pool is now ready for everyone to enjoy.
Friday, February 15, 2008
There are two commonly used acid washes , no drain and drain the pool. The no-drain acid wash is where the water remains in the pool and is prepared by adding acid to the water, about 12 gallons. The water becomes very caustic which loosens the stain on the plaster. By brushing the pool every day with the system off, the loose plaster comes off and settles to the bottom. Brushing the pool is necessary for good results. Use a stiff bristled brush over the entire pool. After a week or when the appearance of the pool is better, the adding of soda ash to the water is used to raise the ph to about 7.4, several pounds are necessary. The system can now be turned on and the residue vacuumed out, preferably by a porta-vac. This process works well where the draining of pools is mandated by the city and where time is not a factor. The draining acid wash is where the water is drained and the plaster is washed with an acid solution with about 50% water, also a little tile soap can be added to help it stay on the walls. Using an acid wash brush, the plaster is scrubbed until the desired appearance is achieved. A pump is used during the process to keep the pool empty of water and the acid solution. This technique takes a couple of days and the end results are better. The pool can now be filled with fresh water and conditioned. After the chemical balance is adjusted in the water, the clean pool can now be used. A clean looking pool is a welcome environment for the avid swimmer.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
There are two common kinds of algae in pools, the black algae and the yellow algae. The black is a stubborn growth that grows in spots on the plaster. To get rid of this growth, one would have to brush it with a steel brush or sprinkle pure chlorine powder on the affected area. Be careful not to allow the wind to blow the powder on your body for it is very irritable to the skin. There is a devise that will hold a chlorine tab that attaches to the pole, and the tab is rubbed directly on the spot. There are commercial products in liquid form that contain silver and copper that works with time. The yellow algae grows all over the pool and can be brushed off easily. Ammonia is the best solution for this growth. One gallon of ammonia with two gallons of chlorine works well, but this method does not allow swimmers to use the pool for several days. Ammonia sulfate (the fertilizer) in dry form with chlorine (two lbs of ammonia and two gallons chlorine) works and does not restrict the use of the pool. Yellow Out is a commercial product with ammonia sulfate in it, but the expense is more than the fertilizer. The task of keeping a pool algae free, is part of the servicing contract, along with a sparkling clean pool to swim in.
Monday, January 21, 2008
What is that contraption on the back of a pool cleaners truck? It is a Porta-vac, a complete filtering and pumping rig on a wheeled carrier. The Pool Cleaner can wheel this to the side of a pool and plug it in and have a good vacuuming system. Many pools have poor suction for vacuuming, but with this rig the suction is great. Also the dirt is kept in the Port-vac filter, not the built in system. The Pool Cleaner can clean out the filter on his own time, leaving the systems filter clean, less back washing. The Porta-vac was introduced in the 80s and became a must for the business. With the added suction, a larger vac head could be used and the pool cleaned much faster. Time is a factor when many pools are taken care of. Most Port-vacs are assembled by the person of the business, allowing them to choose the filter and pump. There are complete rigs available, but one saves by doing the labor themselves.