Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Home Lap Pool

With health considerations being the talk of the nation, few exercise alternatives have gained as much attention as a lap pool. A lap pool is a small swimming pool that incorporates a constant resistant water flow to allow you swim laps in place, and stay in shape. Also known as an endless pool, these small, space efficient, exercise pools are perfect for the homeowner looking for an exercise alternative that is both health smart, and an attractive addition to their home.     

Swimming has been proven to be one of the best cardiovascular workouts possible for the health conscience consumer. Jogging and other outdoor exercise activities cause a lot of strain on your joints and muscles, and can often cause greater health problems over time as those joints and muscles wear out. Swimming, on the other hand, is the most low impact workout you can take on. The problem is that few people have the time to make a regular visit to the local pool for a daily workout. And even fewer have the space, or the means, to install a full size pool into their home. This is why a lap pool makes perfect sense.        

Since swimming has been proven to be the most advantageous form of health conscience exercise, and since finding a convenient place to take advantage of this exercise routine is a challenge for most homeowners, the endless pool is the perfect solution. They come in a surprising array of designs, and can be installed anywhere in your home. And with an endless pool at the ready, it makes it so much easier to keep fit and healthy.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

How Pools Work

Swimming pools come in all shapes and sizes, but nearly all of them work in the same basic way. They use a combination of filtration and chemical treatment to continually clean a large volume of water.   A swimming pool needs seven major components:

  • A basin
  • A motorized pump
  • A water filter
  • A chemical feeder
  • Drainage
  • Returns

PVC plastic plumbing connecting all of these elements The basic idea is to pump water in a continual cycle, from the pool through the filtering and chemical treatment systems and back to the pool again. In this way, the pumping system keeps the water in the pool relatively free of dirt, debris and bacteria.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tile Maintenance: Avoiding Scale Buildup

Scale deposits usually appear as white or gray patches on your pool tiles. Unbalanced pH levels can cause calcium carbonate to separate from the water and form these unsightly patches. Regular pool maintenance along with balancing the water can restore the health of your pool water and prevent future scale buildup. You can find most of the items you’ll need to prevent scale at a local pool store.  Follow these steps:

1.Test your total alkalinity level to make sure it falls between 80 and 120 ppm. Alkalinity works as a buffer to your pH and helps keep levels from fluctuating. Adjust this level before adjusting your pH

2.Keep your pH levels below acidic ranges. Test your pool water to make sure your pH levels remain between 7.2 and 7.6. Adjust by adding a pH balancer to the water.

3.Keep your calcium hardness level between 200 and 245 ppm; high levels increase the risk for scale. If you have too much, the easiest way to bring it down is to add soft water. You may also use a scale inhibitor.

4.Prevent scale buildup by following a pool maintenance schedule for cleaning and testing the balance of your water. Weekly testing will ensure your levels do not get too far out of hand to easily correct them.

5.Remove areas of scale buildup by scrubbing with a pool brush or a sponge and a tile cleaning product.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Does chlorine prevent all recreational water illnesses?

Chlorine in swimming pools kills the germs that may make people sick, but it takes time. Chlorine in properly disinfected pools kills most germs that cause RWIs within minutes. However, it takes longer to kill some germs such as Cryptosporidium that can survive for days in even a properly disinfected pool.

Also, many things can reduce chlorine levels in pool water. Some examples are sunlight, dirt, debris, and material from swimmer’s bodies. Healthy swimming behaviors and good hygiene are needed to protect you and your family from RWIs and will help stop germs from getting in the pool.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hot Tub Foam Problems

Hot tub water foam is caused when the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) level in the water build up and are brought to the water surface by either the use of the air bubbler (blower) or the air being injected through your jets. The dissolved solids in the water sort of “stick” to the air bubbles coming up through the water and are brought to the surface. You see this as “foam”. The foam is actually the dissolved solids clinging to the air bubbles as they escape upwards into the air. The foam is the “stuff” that was previously dissolved in the water.

TDS levels can build up in the water from many things. When you get in a hot tub, a lot of unpleasant stuff comes off of you. Perspiration, dead skin cells, underarm deodorant, soap residue and dirt from bathing suits, skin lotions and creams, hair spray, etc. Some of this microscopic stuff is caught by your filter, but a lot of it simply dissolves in the water. Also, every time you add any type of chemical to the water, you are introducing additional solids into the same body of water.

Depending on how much of these items are put into the water, and how fast (days, weeks, or months), this will determine the point at which your water becomes saturated. Once that starts to happen, the first thing you will see is the foam. Soon thereafter, the water will permanently cloud – as it reaches its true saturation point of TDS’s.

Once that happens, no amount of filtering or additional chemicals will clear the water and you will have to change it. Water Defoamer will help combat foam for a while, but your best bet is to be as clean as possible before going into the tub. That way you should be able to get about 8 weeks between water changes.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Total Hardness

Total Hardness is a measure of the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. This naturally occurring mineral helps prevent plaster etching, vinyl liner wrinkling, and equipment corrosion. If the residual gets too high, the water may not be able to hold all the minerals, and calcium can fall out of solution, causing scale buildup and cloudy water.

Proper hardness levels vary with water temperature, (the colder the water, the more calcium is needed), and other balancing factors. Higher levels of total alkalinity and pH will require lower levels of hardness to prevent scaling. Ideal levels of total hardness are between 175 ppm and 225 ppm. NOTE: Recommendations from the ALEX analysis may not exactly match this range. These levels might be ideal, but a wider range of values can be acceptable, meaning there will be no damage to the pool surface or problems with water clarity. The computer can assess the overall balance of the pool, and bases adjustment recommendations on the saturation index. By using this method of balancing, ALEX does not recommend unnecessary product.

Low Total Hardness:
If the hardness is low, add calcium increaser per  instructions to prevent etching, liner wrinkling or other surface damage and corrosion.

High Total Hardness:
If the fill water has a lower hardness residual, the pool can be drained partially and diluted to lower total hardness. If the fill water has a high total hardness, add 1 qt. of Scale Inhibitor per 10,000 gallons, and then add 1/2 this amount monthly for maintenance. For SoftSwim Pools, use the same amounts of SoftSwim Stain Control.

These products will not lower the calcium hardness, but it will prevent scale buildup. If you are unable to lower the calcium hardness, avoid the use of products containing calcium, such as Burn Out Extreme. Regular use of these products will raise the hardness even higher. If the hardness residual is greater than 325, consider using Burn Out 35 or another oxidizer that does not contain calcium.

Friday, March 1, 2013

How to Backwash a D.E. Filter with a Bump handle.

  • Turn pump off.
  • Open backwash valve.
  • Bump handle slowly 15 times.
  • Turn pump on and run it for 2 minutes.
  • Turn pump off.
  • Bump handle slowly 15 times.
  • Turn pump on for 1 minute.
  • Turn pump off.
  • Close backwash valve tightly.
  • Turn pump on.
  • Add D.E. to the skimmer located closest to pump.
  • For Hayward EC-40 / EC-50 Filters use (3) 1 LB coffee cans of DE
  • For Hayward EC-65 / EC-75 Filters use (5) 1 LB coffee cans of DE
  • Add D.E. to skimmers SLOWLY. Don’t CLOG them !
  • Check pool water level after back washing – add more water if necessary !
The amount of DE you actually need is an arguable point amongst pool guys.  Some say add more and backwash less, others say add less and backwash more frequently.  We like to side with the “add less and backwash more” group.  One thing almost all agree on, is that the manufacturer’s instructions that come with most DE filters always recommend putting in WAY TOO MUCH DE.  If you put too much in, you risk clogging the filter, straining your pump and significantly reducing your circulatory pressure in the pool.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Automatic Pool Cleaners

There are three types of automatic pool cleaners; suction side pool cleaners, pressure side pool cleaners and robotic pool cleaners.  Let’s take a look at each one. 

Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaners; These are cleaners that attach to the suction side of your plumbing. The suction side refers to the pipes and fittings that bring water out of the pool to be filtered; that water which is being “sucked” out of the pool by the filter pump. These cleaners attach to one of the suction ports at the pool. Usually, this port is the skimmer, or your pool may have a separate vacuum port where the cleaner’s hose can attach. With the hose attached and the filter pump running, suction is created on the underside of the cleaner.

The cleaner moves randomly, or automatically around the pool with motion created by a device that gives a stop/start pulsing of water. As the unit travels, debris is sucked up through the neck and then the hose, past the suction port, through the pipe, and stops at the filter pump strainer basket, while smaller debris passes through to the filter. Adjustments on the hose, the unit itself and flow volume will create different cleaning patterns, so as to maximize pool coverage.

Pressure Side Cleaners; These cleaners are those that attach to the pressure side (return) of your circulation system. The water that is being pumped or “pushed” back to the pool powers these units which have their own hydraulic power plant inside. Being on the pressure side, these units have distinct advantages. They are helpful in distributing clean, filtered water around the pool and having their own debris bag means that they don’t compromise the filter system. Even with the bag full, a pressure cleaner still operates, stirring debris up. It just won’t suck up any more debris until the bag is emptied.  

Robotic Pool Cleaners; These are self contained electric cleaners, which are put into the pool when there is a need for cleaning. Common brand names include Aquabot, Dolphin and Aquavac. A transformer is plugged into a wall outlet, and a long (50 ft) cord from the unit plugs into the transformer, receiving low voltage power to operate the cleaner. This power operates two motors; a pump motor which draws debris into the unit’s filter and a drive motor which moves the unit around the pool. The advantages to owning a robot cleaner include their self contained filter, which is easily cleaned. They also do quite well with their coverage. Some units are computer chip controlled, and some even have remote controls so you can steer the unit from a lounge chair! Being that they are the only cleaners not attached in any way to the pool’s circulation system, they produce no resistance or back pressure on the filtering. Their cost can be more than suction or pressure side cleaners.      

So which is the right automatic pool cleaner for you? All three types will get the job done. If you purchase a suction side automatic pool cleaner you may need to backwash, or clean your filter more often as a result of the debris being sucked into the filter system. The pressure side automatic pool cleaners work off the return line of your pool’s circulation system adding clean, filtered water all around your swimming pool. Because a robotic pool cleaner is self-contained (functions independent from your pool’s circulation system) you may find you do not need to run your pool’s filtration system as often as before.

The other factor in choosing the automatic pool cleaner that is right for you is your budget. As the pool cleaner increases in functionality you can expect an increase in price. Suction side cleaners are generally the least expensive, robotic cleaners the most expensive, and pressure side pool cleaners falling somewhere in between.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Maintaining Your Pool's Water Level

Maintaining Your Pool's Water Level
February Pool Tips

The main theme of this month’s pool tips is maintaining water level. The main cause of pool equipment problems during the winter months is low water level. During the winter months here in Florida our rainfall diminishes greatly. As we get accustomed to the heavy rainfall during the summer months we forget about monitoring the pool’s water level. Consequently, the pool water drops to an insufficient level. This results in the pump sucking air through the skimmer which in turn causes the pump to run dry. This often causes catastrophic pump failure and plumbing leaks. If you follow the tips provided, you can avoid all these problems and lots of money at the same time. If you observe that your pool is losing more than about 1” per week you probably have a leak. Call us about comprehensive leak detection.
  • Check water levels once a week. Make a note on your calendar or planner to prevent you from forgetting. If you are going out of town and you are one of our service customers, notify us and we will be happy to monitor it for you. If you are not one of our customers I recommend you become one or you can request a reliable neighbor, friend or relative to monitor it for you.

  • Call us to install an automatic timer on your hose bib to prevent you from overfilling your pool, then having to drain out the water you just paid for. Another option is to set an alarm for about 30 minutes to remind you to check the water level each time you add water.

  • Keep thermometers and toys out of the skimmer. They can obstruct the skimmer door or weir and prevent the water from flowing through the skimmer. This has the same effect as the water being too low.

  • If you are heating your pool either with a solar system or a heat pump call us about installing a pool cover or solar pills. These will not only assist greatly in reducing evening heat loss but will greatly reduce water loss through evaporation.
I hope you find these tips useful. Please call us if you have any questions.
Florida Certified Pool Contractors License No. 1458116.

We Service All Major Brands of:
  • Pumps      
  • Salt Chlorination Systems 
  • Automation Systems   
  • Valves & Automatic Valve Actuators 
  • Leak Detection and Repair 
  • Pool Lights
  • Filters            
  • Chlorinators 
  • Automatic Pool Cleaners 
  • Plumbing Leaks & More 
  • Install Pool Rails
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