Diver Walt


Caring For Your In-ground Swimming Pool
One of the most important pieces of advice I can give on caring for an in-ground swimming pool is to PREVENT problems before they occur. Maintaining a swimming pool is not too difficult, however, getting a neglected pool back to a swim-able condition can be a nightmare.  One of the most important things you can do is run your filtration system as much as possible.  Many of our customers run their pumps 24 hours during the summer.  Stagnant water can quickly turn green whereas moving water that's constantly being filtered will not taint provided proper chlorination and water balance is maintained.  There are many books written on water chemistry so I won't go into a detailed explanation, but rather I will point out a few things I have seen through the years that are very important to keep an eye on.  Let me start with the most important of all...

NEVER Drain Your In-ground Swimming Pool

without first consulting a pool professional.   There are many risks involved in doing this and I've wished many times customers had called us before draining the water out of their pools.  Click here to see the worst that can happen should you drain you pool without taking the necessary precautions.  If you have any questions regarding your pool, feel free to call us at (732) 251-0951

Beware Of Low pH Levels
Perhaps even worse for a vinyl lined pool than over chlorination is a low pH level.  Anything lower than 7.0 on the scale means your water is acidic and it will EAT away at the liner, metallic objects etc constantly.  Slightly high pH is ok, but low is not. The use of trichlor tabs (hockey pucks) has a tendency to lower your Ph automatically.  Check the Ph of you pool often.  I suggest using something simple like Aquacheck strips for water testing. Some may argue that the accuracy of these strips are not comparable to dpd test kits, however we feel because they're so much simpler pool owners will be more inclined to check water chemistry.  Not monitoring the water chemistry often enough to catch imbalances early is the most common problem we see. 

Ladder Bumpers That Fall Out And Broken Accessories
Be careful of ladder bumpers that fall out when someone uses the pool ladders to get in and out of the pool.  The sharp edges of a tubular pool ladder can slice through a liner easily.  We have repaired many liners that have suffered this malady. Replacing the bumpers often (even yearly) goes a long way towards preventing damage to your liner.  The same advice goes for broken pool vacuums or any other accessories with sharp edges.

Algaecides Can Make Your Water WORSE!
A properly maintained pool should never require the use of algaecides. Chlorine in itself will kill algae and it's a very effective sanitizer.  Algae forms when chlorine levels are not sufficient or water circulation is inadequate.  In some cases the use of an algaecide can help prevent algae but they are not a panacea and I suggest only using them in rare circumstances.   Cheap copper based algaecides can do more harm than good and over the years will build up high concentrations of copper in the water which will render chlorine less effective.  They can also turn blonde hair green in extreme cases.  Cleaning up a neglected pool can take a fair amount of time and labor.  Maintaining a high chlorine level, running the filter 24 hours a day and backwashing it at least twice daily is the best way to get your water back to normal.  Algaecides can make the water milky, cause bubbles, and generally delay the process of getting the pool back in shape.   If anything they can be used as an algae preventative over the winter season.   Most pool dealers will not tell you this because they sell algaecides at a large profit. If you're interested in reading more on what most pool dealers won't tell you, follow this link to Pool Solutions.  I don't agree with ALL the advice given, but most of it is true.   Clicking on this link will open a new browser window so you will not lose this page.

Diatomaceous Earth vs. Sand Filtration
For ease of use, nothing beats a sand filter, however, many particles simply pass through sand filters such as pollen.  If sand filters did the job of D.E. filters, nobody would own earth filters because of the added work. If you want the ultimate in filtration and especially if you're sensitive to pollen or irritants in the water, earth filters are the clear choice. There are 2 basic style of D.E. filters. The first is a regenerating filter like the Hayward Perflex system, the second is a backwash-able style.  With regenerating type filters you don't actually "backwash" the D.E. out of them because there is no reversal of water flow.  The object is to dump the D.E. by bumping the handle and opening the valve on the bottom.  Unfortunately much of the D.E. remains in the filter and at a minimum, every other year this style filter should be acid washed. Acid washing is a process where we remove the filter element, submerge it in an acid bath overnight, then return it to the filter housing.  The second style of filter can be backwashed  and consists of an array of vertical grids within the filter.  The D.E. collects on them and catches the dirt as it passes through.  This style of filter can be backwashed because the water flow is reversed through the grids which pushes the D.E. out the waste pipe.  While they don't need to be acid washed every year, doing it periodically will improve performance.


Is A Bigger Pump Better?

A common misconception among many people is that a larger pump is always better.  In some cases as with very large pools, the pump must be sized accordingly, however, putting a 2 horsepower pump on a 1-1/2" system can be counterproductive.  Not only will the larger pump cost more to run, but unless the entire system is upgraded to 2" plumbing and a larger filter, the pump is just working harder and "overdriving" the filter.  This will cause dirt that may have been caught by the filter to sometimes be blown through it without allowing the sand to catch the particles.  Another consideration is sufficient electrical power.  If an installation originally had a smaller pump and it's replaced with a larger one, voltage drop may occur and cause premature failure of the pump motor.  A wiser choice would be to install a reasonably sized pump and run it longer so the water never stagnates and is constantly being filtered and circulated.

Suction Inlets Can Be Dangerous!
A very important safety concern is open suction inlets on your pool.  The suction created from a pool pump is strong enough to cause a huge welt, disjoint a finger, or possibly even kill someone.  There have been numerous articles of people being hurt by unprotected suction lines.  Fortunately with properly fitted safety grates this will not happen, but always be aware of this danger, especially with small children.

Don't Bury the Pump in Your Landscaping
  When landscaping around the pool's filtration system, be careful not to bury the pump motor in mulch, stones or soil.  Also be sure if you landscape around the pump that water will not collect and drown the motor. We've seen several motors ruined in less than one year from this.

Consider A Dedicated Shed For Your Pool Accessories
  Putting your pool items in the same shed along with garden tools, lawn tractor, and gasoline may not be the best idea.  Chlorine mixed with gasoline is deadly and in addition it's easy to lose small pool parts or incur damage in a crowded shed.  Another benefit is that your pool service will know where everything is and if you're not able to be home for a pool opening or other scheduled task, they won't have to root through your shed looking for pool parts.  Whatever size you anticipate will meet your needs,, buy larger. Most sheds are never big enough once you start accumulating more accessories, chemicals, etc.


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