Author: Daniel

Swimming pool care basics – testing the water

pool care basics

Pool care basics start with balanced water. Proper testing ensures that calcium levels are maintained and that there are no metals present in your pool water. These tests can be completed by you or your pool service professional. Below are some pool care basic guidelines for testing your pool water.

balanced pool water

Balancing your pool’s pH

First of all, you need to understand what exactly pH is. The pH is the measurement of acid and base in the pool water. The pH of the pool should be tested and adjusted on a weekly basis. If the pH of the pool water slides into the acidic side of the scale, corrosion of pool surfaces and equipment can occur. If the pH of the pool water drifts to the base side, cloudy water can occur.

You may use a pH increaser to increase the pH of the pool. At 8.5, chlorine is only about 10% active. At 7.0, chlorine is about 73% active. If you maintain pH around 7.5, the chlorine will be 50-60% active. Keeping the pH in check will allow you to use the full potential of the chlorine that is already in the pool.

If you must lower the pH of the pool, use a pH decreaser. Follow the label directions for the proper amount of the products to add based on test results and pool size.

balanced pool water

Balancing your pool’s calcium hardness

Calcium Hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium in your swimming pool water. Low calcium hardness levels can cause plaster finish etching and shorten the life of vinyl liners. High calcium levels can result in calcium deposits on the pool surfaces as well as equipment.

The proper range for calcium hardness in pool water is 200- 250 ppm for concrete pools, and  175-225 ppm for vinyl pools. Your pool service professional can advise you on the best method for treating your pool if you encounter high calcium hardness.

balanced pool water

Balancing your pool’s total alkalinity

Another aspect of pool care basics is testing your pool’s total alkalinity. To prevent the pH  from varying up and down, the proper amount of acid, or total alkalinity, must be maintained in your swimming pool. The pool should be tested weekly with a total alkalinity of 1 20-150 ppm.

Low total alkalinity results in a pH bounce and corrosiveness. This is dangerous because you increase the possibility of staining the pool. High total alkalinity also can cause the pH to fluctuate as well as cause cloudy pools along with possibility of  scaling.

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How to effectively clean your spa

clean your spa

There is nothing more relaxing then ending the day in a nice warm spa. You should clean your spa regularly if you want to enjoy many pleasant hours of rest and relaxation. Taking a little bit of time out of your schedule to ensure you have a clean spa will really reward you and your family.

There is regular cleaning maintenance that should be done on a weekly or monthly basis. However there are other tasks that should only be done a few times a year. Either way, keeping a clean spa can help to enhance its longevity and improve the overall performance. Let’s get started.

clean your spa

Why clean your spa?

It’s not just about the looks. Although many would agree that they love a sparkly clean spa, cleaning your spa will also help make it last longer and protect its vital components, such as the filters. Cleaning your spa regularly is also a matter of safety. Regularly test the water to ensure it is free from pollutants.

How to clean your spa

There are many small, but extremely valuable steps you can take to keep your spa clean on a regular basis. Start by using a net to catch dirt and debris, such as floating leaves or other dirt. Dirt  and leaves are not just a problem to have floating around the spa, but they can also end up clogging your filtration system!

By getting rid of dirt and debris, you can make it a lot easier on your filters and entire spa system. It’s also a good idea to use test strips to check the composition of the water regularly. Keeping a balanced spa is a matter of safety. You should test the calcium hardness as well as the pH level regularly. They should always remain at optimal levels, as it will be easier to keep your tub clean when the water is at an optimal chemical level.

raised spa wall

Give it a rinse

A pro tip to keeping a clean spa is to take the time to briefly rinse your filters with water from the hose once a week or a couple times a month.  The frequency depends on the use of your spa. This will help you keep your filters healthy, clean and in great shape. They will last longer and they will work better, too.

Another thing to keep in mind is the particular weather conditions where you reside and how often your spa is used. You will need to use a chemical soak or rinse to wash your filters more properly. This is usually done once a month or every 2-3 months. Again, the frequency of how often you clean your filters should really depend on your area and on how often you use your spa. When using chemical solutions to clean your filters, always make sure to use spa specific products.

Make sure to schedule your spa cleaning

In order for you to stay on top of your cleaning and maintenance needs, it is recommended you start a little calendar where you keep track of your cleaning schedule.

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What is used to clean a swimming pool?

pool cleaning tips

Your swimming pool is your summer sanctuary, the focal point of your backyard oasis. Cleaning your swimming pool is a part of your weekly maintenance. There are multiple different ways you can go about it. Many swimming pool owners choose to use a professional pool service in order to clean a swimming pool. Others take the responsibility upon themselves.

Whichever direction you have chosen to go, one thing is undeniable. Pool cleaning requires pool chemicals or cleaning agents. These tools can be an expensive part of your budget. You may wonder if you have to use those expensive chemicals or cleaning supplies found at your local pool retailer? While some are quite valuable, there are some chemicals found at your pool store than you can find cheaper when they are packaged for something that is totally different. Let’s take a look.

Pool cleaning Temecula

Household items that may be used to clean a pool

Baking Soda
Baking soda is also known as sodium bicarbonate. Similarly there is the more proper sodium hydrogen carbonate that you can find to raise the alkalinity in the pool store. You can add 1.5 pounds of baking soda to 10,000 gallons of water to increase the total alkalinity by 10 ppm. However be warned that the pool version of baking soda should not be consumed, or used for baking. You can get the proper amount Arm & Hammer baking soda at most convenient stores for about $20.

Keep a Clean Pool

Household Bleach
Household bleach also known as sodium hypochlorite can be used to clean a pool. It acts the same as a pool shock, just like that pool shock you can pick up at your local pool supply store. Fun fact! If you have hard water issues, bleach can help reduce the calcium precipitation in the water. The proper amount of bleach needed to clean a pool can be purchased for about $14.

pool care

Borax
Borax is easily found in almost every laundry aisle in convenient stores across america. Borax can be used to raise the pH levels in your swimming pool if they are too low. Simply add one half a cup per 10,000 gallons of water to increase the pH. The proper amount of borax will vary depending on the size of your pool, however it can be purchased for around $15.

Pool Cleaning Service

Plastic Broom
Have you been looking for a better way to get up the dirt and leaves that have collected at the bottom of your swimming pool? Instead of trying to vacuum the entire pool, take a plastic broom and sweep the dirt into one area first and then vacuum it away. Saves you time and money in the long run! Keep in mind that in order for this to work properly you will need to use a broom with plastic ends that will still work under water.

Muriatic Acid
Muriatic acid can be used to lower the alkalinity of your water by as much as 10 ppm in a typical 10,000 gallon pool. It’s usually less expensive than alkalinity helpers made for swimming pools. This will typically cost you about $50.

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Pool cleaning instructions to keep a clean pool

pool cleaning instructions

Nobody likes to clean, especially when it comes to cleaning outside. Aside from this obvious fact, many of us have no idea where to even start. Have you ever wished for some cliff notes on how to maintain your backyard oasis? Well wish no more. Here is a curated list of easy-to-follow pool cleaning instructions. Let’s get started.

pool cleaning instructions

Buy a pool cover

Step one of pool cleaning instructions, buy yourself a pool cover. A pool cover is an effective way of shielding the pool from falling objects such as dirt and debris. A pool cover keeps your pool safe from the elements. It can also act as a protective barrier that prevents small children and pets from falling into the pool. Setting up the pool cover requires a significant amount of work, but it’s basic pool maintenance.

pool cleaning instructions

Circulation is key

The pool pump is the focal point of your filtration system. The pool pumps job is to aid in circulation by moving water from the pool and sending it to the filter so that it can expel any dirt, debris before sending it back into the pool.

If you are wondering how often you should run your pump, the size of the pool, pipe, and the number of swimmers all play a major part. A professional will help you establish the proper amount of time required depending on the size of your pool so as keep it running.

pool cleaning instructions

Adjust your chemicals and balance your pool water

Chemicals play an important role in regular pool maintenance. They keep the water safe and clean. Adjusting your chemicals is a large part of the pool cleaning instructions. Remember to always test and correct your pool chemistry every week.

How do you do correct your pool chemistry? Start by adjusting the pH with muriatic acid especially if it’s over 7.6 or use soda ash if it’s below 7.4. If the chlorine levels are below 1 part ppm or the alkalinity is below 90ppm, shock your swimming pool.

How do you shock your swimming pool? Simply by dissolving the chlorine or alkalinity enhancer in a bucket of water and pour in. Go for lithium based chlorine as it dissolves easily, doesn’t leave any residue that doesn’t interfere with the pH levels of the water. However if you do not have the proper chemicals available, you can DIY in an emergency and use household baking soda.

Top custom leaf covers for your swimming pool

pool cover options

Your backyard should be your sanctuary. You go there to escape and relax. However, sometimes you are faced with some unwanted guests. Are you suffering from unwanted dirt and debris in your swimming pool? Do you constantly have to net out large leaves? You definitely need a custom leaf cover fitted for your swimming pools specific size and shape. To help aid in your search, here is a list of the top custom leaf covers available to you.

Water Warden Pool Safety Cover for a 20×40 Pool
The brand has a mission statement of safety. This pool cover is important in terms of securing the pool. It is equipped with a state of the art triple stitched and double strapped top and bottom. The stitching is important to keeping the foundation of the pool cover strong at all times. You should enjoy the comfort and ease offered when it comes to using it.

pool safety features

Blue Wave 20ft x 40ft Rectangular In Ground Pool Safety Cover
The rectangular shape of this pool cover makes it a great option for many pool owners, even if you do not have a rectangular pool. The multi-seamed stitching helps to give peace of mind that there is safety to the model. This custom leaf cover was built to last! Fortunately, you will find that it does not wear and tear as easily as some other models on the market. This model is also very budget friendly.

GLI Pool Products 16×32 Rectangle Safety Pool Cover
This custom pool leaf cover is really exceptional when it comes to protecting your pool from issues such as dirt and debris. The manufacturer constructed it out of two ply mesh material. This type of material will resist rot, mildew, sunlight, and harsh chemical change. It is also quite affordable. In addition it comes with a durable set of mounting materials.

pool cover options

Meyco 20×40 ft. Rectangle Safety Pool Cover
This is truly a custom leaf cover that is built to last a long time thanks to its super strong construction. The manufacturer used two ply MeycoLite mesh to construct the cover. This type of cover can withhold up to more than 4000 pounds! Truly powerful! You will not have a hard time assembling it as well.

Loop Loc 20×40 Rectangle Safety Pool Cover
This is another top performing custom pool leaf cover and safety. This specific model always gets the UL certification year after year. This serves as proof that the model is truly good at what it is meant to do. The pool cover is also highly durable. In addition, it comes with a 15-year warranty just to show that it can deliver on the right performance year after year!

Blue Wave Bronze 8-Year 18-ft Round Above Ground Pool Winter Cover
This custom pool leaf cover is made specifically to withstand the winter months. It is best known for its strength and durability. It is a pool cover and safety net that many people are purchasing now! Why? It’s better than some covers that cost twice as much. Having the rugged scrim and coating it does makes it able to withstand the worst of winter.

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Want to go chlorine free? Pros and cons of salt water pools

salt water pools

Everyone is familiar with chlorine swimming pools. It is likely that your first pool experience and memory has something to do with a chlorine pool. However, it could easily be said that most people do not actually like chlorine. This is for many reasons. Chlorine stinks and it is irritating to the skin and the eyes. That’s why kids have to wear goggles when swimming in a chlorinated pool. It’s no wonder that people want to make the switch to salt water pools. However what are the pros and cons of salt water?

salt water pools

What is salt water?

The water in a salt water swimming pool is very different then the salt in the ocean. Salt water pools do not contain the same amount of salt as the ocean. The ocean is about 35,000 parts per million in salt content, where a salt water chlorinated pool is only about 3,000 parts per million. So all in all the water is very different.

The salt water in a swimming pool is not completely free of chlorine. Why not? Despite the general loathing of chlorine because of the general hazard it poses, chlorine does its job very well. It is an excellent way to purify and sanitize pool water. That being said, even salt water swimming pools do contain some chlorine. However, they contain much much less then the average chlorine swimming pool. How? Salt water pool systems create their own chlorine using salt through a process called electrolysis. The real difference is that you don’t have to add chlorine directly to the water.

salt water pools

Pros of a salt water pool

Salt water pools are very gentle on the eyes and skin. Chlorine levels are typically lower with a salt generator. People who are sensitive to chlorine often report fewer irritations when swimming in a salt water pool. Salt water is drastically safer then chlorinated pools, and does not pose the long term health risks involved with chlorine.

Salt water pools have this luxurious feeling. Comparably if you have a water softener in your home, you know that the addition of salt makes water feel smooth and silky to the touch. This is in stark contrast to chlorine that can be abrasive and itchy.

Salt water pools are all together low maintenance.  It is as hands free as pool maintenance can get.

salt water pools

Cons of a salt water pool

The down side is that salt water pools are more expensive. Salt water systems require a large initial investment. Of course, with the money you’re saving on chlorine, the system could pay for itself overtime.

Salt water pools are potentially damaging to your other pool equipment. How? A process called corrosion. Corrosion deteriorates the materials salt water touches when it evaporates. Unless you invest in mostly or all aluminum equipment, you will have to beware of corrosion. One way to do this is by hosing off the areas around a swimming pool and the equipment frequently used in the pool.

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The ultimate guide to pool upkeep

Like all good pool owners, you strive to maintain good pool hygiene. But pool upkeep can be hard work, not because it’s hard, but because it can be easy to forget all that goes into maintaining your pool. That’s why this ultimate guide to pool upkeep was created. You might want jot down some of this info, or maybe even make your own list so you’ll never neglect proper maintenance. Let’s get started.

pool upkeep

Opening and closing your swimming pool

As a general rule, you should open your pool for the season when the temperature is consistently above 70 degrees during the day. This helps prevent algae and pollen from building up in the warm weather. First, you need to remove your pool cover and activate your pool filter and pool pump. Then clean and vacuum your pool. Finally, you should balance the water by adding proper chemicals.

So when should you close your pool? Ideally, before the temperature falls under 30 degrees at night. Start by thoroughly cleaning and balancing the pool. Make sure to vacuum any debris that may be at the bottom of the pool. Allow the chemicals to be filtered for a full 24 hours.

As far as lowering the water level goes, remove all plugs and water from the pump and filter system, including any heating elements like a heat pump. Then blow out and plug all the plumbing lines. Remove any ladders or handrails, and finally put the cover on. You’re closed for the season!

Cleaning Dirt and Debris

Cleaning up surface debris like leaves, dirt, and bugs is pretty simple. Anyone can get a hold of a telescopic pole and skimmer net and manually collect the debris floating atop the swimming pool. However for more regular cleaning and tougher solids, an automatic vacuum is the way to go.

swimming pool maintenance

Balancing the water chemistry

Regularly testing and balancing your water chemistry is a huge part of pool upkeep. It ensures that your pool water is safe to swim in. Chlorine isn’t the only chemical you need to worry about. You need to balance total alkalinity, calcium hardness, the pH, and your pool stabilizers.

Getting rid of Algae

If you notice your pool is turning a icky green color, you are likely dealing with an algae infestation. Algae usually grows when chlorine is low and pH is high or low. Treat it by first verifying that your water chemistry is within the ideal range. Next, add chlorine until it’s at the proper level. Then, shock the pool water and brush the pool surface and walls well. Finally, run the pump on high speed nonstop until the water clears.

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Pool maintenance steps for beginners

Whether you’ve just moved into a new house with a pool or recently had one installed, you know that having a pool requires regular time and effort. First time pool owners can easily feel overwhelmed with all the details. Once you learn these basic pool maintenance steps, you’ll feel more confident maintaining your pool yourself. Let’s get started.

pool maintenance tips

Pool Cover

The first piece of equipment you will want to invest in is a pool cover. A cover is effective in shielding the water from any debris from trees, plants, weather elements and anything else that may find its way into your pool. Having a pool cover is helpful during the winter months when the pool is not in use.

Skimmer

The second thing you’ll need is a skimmer, a rake-like tool with a net that is used to fish objects out of the pool. You should use this regularly to remove any debris that may have gotten into your pool, such as leaves or dead insects. For the best possible care, skim your pool on a daily basis.

Automatic pool skimmers can do the hard work for you, since they are designed to pull surface water in to filter out any debris that form on top of the water.

Vacuum

This in definitely your investment piece. An automatic pool vacuum gets rid all of the materials which make their way to the bottom of the pool and other areas that may be hard to reach with the skimmer. Automatic pool vacuums can be pretty expensive, but they make your life much easier and keep your pool sparkly clean.

maintenance

Circulation

Keeping your pool water moving is a essential part of maintaining your swimming pool. Stagnant water breeds bacteria and promotes unclean water conditions. Your pool pump and filter play the largest role in the swimming pool circulatory system. A good rule of thumb is to run your pump for 10 to 12 hours each day, which will circulate the water in your pool two to three times per day. To save on your electric bill, run your pump at night, when rates are lower.

Cleaning

Your pool filter has the main job of filtering out dirt and debris that have found their way into your swimming pool. It’s the primary cleaning element and choosing the right one could mean the difference between a clean pool and a dirty one. There are three types of filters to choose from: sand, DE, and cartridge filters.  Make sure to follow the specific cleaning instructions for the filter you have.

Chemicals

Chemicals are an essential part in keeping your pool clean and the water safe to swim in. This is why it is essential to test and correct your pool chemistry each week. Balancing your pool means keeping the pH level between 7.4 and 7.6.

What pool cleaning chemicals should you use?

You have decided to take on pool chemical maintenance all on your own. How do you choose the right tools? Pool cleaning chemicals are extremely hazardous, so for your safety it is vital that you research the right chemicals and know how to properly handle them.

pool cleaning chemicals

Sanitizers

These are the pool cleaning chemicals that you use to keep water sanitized and disinfected. It is important to know that there should be a constant level of chlorine or bromine in the water at all times.  There are several different options available to you in order to fulfill that need. Below is a list of some common sanitizers that are regularly used in swimming pool maintenance.

Trichlor: 3″ tabs, or 1″ sticks. With cyanuric acid. Add them to a chlorine floater or an installed chlorinator.

Dichlor: granular. With cyanuric acid. Powdered form acts quickly to chlorinate pools, fountains or spas.

Bromine: 1″ tabs. Great for spas; works better in hot water, and can be regenerated by shocking. More pH stable as well.

Cyanuric Acid: Liquid or dry chlorine stabilizer. Protects chlorine from damage by UV rays. Small amounts are added to dichlor and trichlor (more if the pool was drained) to maintain 30-50 ppm. Drain some water and refill if cyanuric acid levels get much higher than 50 ppm.

Pool cleaning chemicals

Oxidizers

Oxidizers are used in conjunction with other pool cleaning chemicals. Oxidizers are known as the secondary sanitizers. They should be used every one to two weeks to kill algae and other harmful bacteria. For example, chlorine or non-chlorine shocks are in a powdered form. This means all you have to do is just open the bag and pour it into the pool.

Calcium  Hypochlorite: Cal hypo pool shock is used to quickly sanitize pool water, boost chlorine levels and kill algae. Works best with a low pH level of around 7.2.

Chlorine Free Shock: Granular potassium monopersulfate which is non-chlorine. A fast-acting oxygen based sanitizer that burns clean with no residue. As a plus, you can swim right after treatment!

Lithium Shock: Lithium hypochlorite. This one is great for pools with liners because it won’t bleach the liner, and also dissolves right away so is safe to swim right after treatment.

pool cleaning chemicals

Water balancers

Balancing your swimming pool water is one of the most important steps in maintaining your pool. It is relatively simple, and aids in understanding your pool water health. In order to keep your water in balance, you should test the pool several times per week for chlorine and pH levels. You will need to test total alkalinity, and test calcium hardness and cyanuric acid levels. Once you do this you will have a better idea of what your pool needs and you can add pool cleaning chemicals as needed.

How much is a pool cleaning service?

One of the most important aspects of owning a swimming pool is proper maintenance. A swimming pool needs to be kept up in order to last and be of service to you for a long time. Realizing the importance of maintenance is the first step. However, you may be wondering how much does a swimming pool cleaning service cost? Let’s dig in.

pool maintenance

So how much we talkin’?

The national average for pool maintenance ranges from $80 to $120 per month. This is for a full-service maintenance plan. Purely chemical plans cost from $65 to $80. That means someone else handles the science and you do the regular maintenance on your own. If you go this route, just remember to clean your pool filter at least once a year. It costs about $100.

What Affects the Cost of Pool Maintenance?

Costs for swimming pool service varies depending on the size of your pool. Other factors like the type of care and the frequency can figure in. Another key aspect is your home’s location. Simply put, most services have a higher price tag in regions with a higher cost of living.

Talk to Premier Pool Service and let them walk you through your specifications and needs. This will help them give you a clear cost estimate as well as peace of mind.

maintenance

Monthly Pool Maintenance Costs

Most pool cleaning services offer a monthly maintenance package. Service usually includes skimming and brushing the pool, emptying skimmer baskets and pump baskets, testing pool water and adjusting and adding chemicals as needed, vacuuming the pool as needed, cleaning debris filter screens for in-floor systems, unclogging pump impellers, and backwashing the pool filter when pressure has risen. If that sounds like a lot to handle, let a professional take care of it for you.