Cover Lifters for Hot Tubs and Spas

How to Choose the Best Hot Tub Cover Lifter

Hot tub covers are relatively heavy. The average weight of a typical hot tub cover is between 50 and 75 pounds. Because of this, most people struggle to lift and move their hot tub covers when they want to use their hot tubs.

Fortunately, there is a solution to the dilemma. A hot tub cover lifter is a device that can lift hot tub covers for you. Then you’ll never have to struggle with lifting your hot tub cover ever again. If you’re a senior citizen or someone with a physical disability, you will appreciate the help the lifter provides.

As a result, you can reduce your chance of getting a back injury from having to pull all that weight around. You’ll never have an excuse not to clean and treat your hot tub water ever again!

Finding the Top Hot Tub Cover Lifter

Hot Tub cover lifters are not all the same. There are several considerations you need to make before choosing a hot tub cover lifter. Let’s review those considerations below.

1) The Available Space Surrounding Your Hot Tub

How much space surrounds your hot tub? This is an essential consideration because some lifters require a lot of space around the hot tub.

What you’ll want to do is to measure the distance between the hot tub and the nearest objects or obstacles, such as your house, fence, trees, or other obstructions. Once you know the distance, you can determine how much space you have available for your hot tub lifter.

2) The Shape and Diameter of Your Hot Tub

Hot tubs are available in different shapes and sizes. You could have a hot tub that is circular, rectangular, or square-shaped. When choosing a hot tub lifter, make sure it can fit the shape of your hot tub. Some lifters are made to cover one shape only, while others can cover multiple shapes.

The other consideration needed is with the size of the cover. Lifters are not all made to handle covers of any size. Each lifter model will have a maximum cover size and minimum cover size that is permitted. The average lifter model should be able to handle a cover that is anywhere from 76 inches to 96 inches in diameter.   

3) The Mount Type

Look at the way your hot tub is installed before deciding on which type of mount is needed. Is your hot tub built into the ground, or does it stand alone on its own? Is the hot tub installed on a patio or a deck?

The amount of clearance around your hot tub will determine the type of mounting that is required. In some cases, you’ll have a few different mounting options available. Choose the best looking option for your hot tub.

Please consider the environmental factors too. For instance, if your location gets a lot of snowy weather, then it will add more weight to the top of your cover. The best way to deal with the added weight is to use a hydraulic cover lifter. Otherwise, you’ll need to spend time removing the snow and ice from the cover before using your standard cover lifter.

Installing Your Hot Tub Cover Lifter

There are several ways to mount a cover lifter on your hot tub.

  • You can attach a bottom mount lifter to the bottom of your hot tub. You can do it from the sides or back of the hot tub.
  • A side mount lifter can be secured to one side of your hot tub and extend toward the top of it.
  • A back-mount lifter is positioned in the back of your hot tub. The sides don’t need any space.
  • An under-mount lifter is connected to a metal plate underneath your hot tub. If your hot tub is on a deck, then you’ll have to bolt the under-mount lifter to the deck.
  • Adjustable lifters give you the freedom to place them anywhere that you’d like on your hot tub.

Hot Tub Cover Lifter Options

There are three options available for your hot tub cover lifters. Each option is different in terms of cost, amount of clearance required, and how easy it is to use.

1) Manual Pivot Cover Lifters

If you cannot afford to buy an expensive hot tub cover lifter, choose the manual pivot hot tub cover lifter. It consists of a metal bar in the center of your hot tub. After folding the cover in half, grab the metal bar and lift upwards to push off the cover from the tub.

The benefit of a manual pivot cover lifter is that it is compatible with just about any hot tub regardless of its size and shape. You can mount the cover lifter to the back, bottom, or sides of the hot tub. As long as you purchase a high-quality manual pivot cover lifter, it should be simple enough for you to use without needing anyone else to help you.

2) Hydraulic Cover Lifters

Hydraulic cover lifters are the most expensive and the easiest to use. Since it does most of the work, your only job is to fold the cover and guide it off the hot tub without any strength required. You can adjust a hydraulic cover lifter to accommodate your hot tub’s shape and size, which is another added benefit.

3) Shelf Cover Lifters

Shelf cover lifters are the cheapest lifters on this list. A shelf cover lifter gets fixed to the sides or back of your hot tub. When you want to use the hot tub, you fold over the cover and slide it onto the shelf. You’ll still have to lift the side of the cover when you fold it over, so it will require some of your strength to be used.

If sliding the cover lifter onto the shelf is an issue, then look for models that come with rollers. The rollers can assist you with the pushing and sliding. Make sure you have enough space around your hot tub to fit the shelf cover lifter. If you can find a shelf that folds downward near the tub’s base, then choose that one.

Final Words

Now you should have a clearer picture of how to select the right hot tub cover lifter for your hot tub. Consider all of the variables mentioned in this article before purchasing your cover lifter. That way, you won’t be disappointed with the results.

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Shop the Best Hot Tub Covers 2020 – Blue Waters

How to Select the Best Hot Tub Cover

Do you need help choosing the best hot tub cover for your spa? Our research team has examined several different hot tub covers to determine which ones are the best on the market.

Our Top Hot Tube Cover Pick

The best hot tub cover would have to be the Canadian Spa Company Square Spa Cover. Its dimensions are 78″ x 78″, so it forms the perfect square shape to fit virtually any hot tub.

The cover contains 5 inches of thick foam at its core, making it highly durable and protecting the water from UV rays and bad weather. And to ensure the cover is resistant to mildew and UV rays, it has marine-grade vinyl material and an aluminum support beam for added protection against these environmental hazards. There is also a 5-inch heat seal on the sides and a comprehensive steam seal within the fold to ensure heat cannot escape the spa.

When you want to keep the cover secured to the spa, you can utilize the eight lock straps on the top of it. These are heavy-duty straps that do an excellent job of keeping the cover in place. The craftsmanship that went into this hot tub cover design is genuinely remarkable. Your spa water will stay hot, and moisture will not escape it. That is the whole point of a hot tub cover, after all, right?

Most Economical Hot Tub Cover

Hot tubs usually come with their own covers. But if you ever need to replace your cover, you’ll have to spend a minimum of $300 on a replacement cover. Why spend that much when you can spend a little over $100 on the QCA Spas Soft Hot Tub Top?

What is unique about the QCA Spas Soft Hot Tub Top is that it can be trimmed and adjusted to fit the shape and size of your hot tub. Although it is a soft hot tub cover, it is placed directly on top of the water rather than a few inches over the water. This direct contact with the water ensures that heat stays trapped inside of it.

Of course, if you want to add even more protection, you can use this soft hot tub cover in conjunction with a hard-hot tub cover too. It all depends on what your budget can afford. But if you can only afford one of them, choose the QCA Spas Soft Hot Tub Top. It is the most affordable hot tub cover on the market.

When you first receive the QCA Spas Soft Hot Tub Top, you are given a roll of closed-cell foam that is 82 inches by 88 inches. The foam can easily be cut and trimmed to the size and shape required. It is both chemical and water-resistant.

The Most Cold-Resistant Hot Tub Cover

Does your location get cold during the winter months? If so, you’ll want to protect your spa from the winter’s brutally cold temperatures and snowy weather conditions as best as possible. You can do that with The Cover Guy Deluxe Hot Tub Cover. Not only will the cover trap heat inside the water, but it can endure the heavy weight of the snow and ice when the weather gets terrible outside.

When you order the Cover Guy Deluxe Hot Tub Cover, you can choose the color, size, and shape that you would like it to be. The exterior contains marine-grade vinyl material with inner foam that is 5 inches thick and tapering that is 3 inches on the sides. There are four tie-down locks to secure the cover in place when it is not being used. All buyers receive a 7-year warranty with the purchase of the cover.

If you want to purchase the best cover for hot tub insulation and cold weather resistance, you should choose the Cover Guy Deluxe Hot Tub Cover.

The Roundest Hot Tub Cover

Circular hot tubs need to have round covers on them. The Canadian Spa Company has a 78-inch round hot tub cover with a taper that is 3 inches. You can also find several other sizes of their hot tub cover brand, but 78 inches is the most popular cover size. No matter the size that is chosen, you will have 5 inches of thickness filled with a high-density Styrofoam material and 3 inches of tapering on the sides. There is even a comprehensive steam seal to ensure that heat stays trapped inside.

If there are any severe weather conditions, the aluminum and vinyl finish is strong enough to handle heavy snow, rainfall, and cold temperatures. Between the 5 inches of edging and the six locking straps, the cover will stay securely in place on the hot tub. When you need to remove the cover, you can use the four built-in handles to get a grip on it and lift.

You will get your money’s worth if you purchase this round hot tub cover. The cover does not weigh too much either, so that is good if you’re somebody with less physical strength. Also a good hot tub lift comes handy with round shape covers. 

Best Customized Hot Tub Cover

If you want to purchase a customized hot tub cover that matches the size of your hot tub and features the colors of your choice, then consider the Beyond Nice Deluxe Hot Tub Cover.

This custom hot tub cover is available in any number of colors and shapes that you select. The maximum size limit is 96 inches, but you can have a smaller size if necessary. Just measure your hot tub to determine the proper size for your cover. The company will explain to you how to conduct these measurements properly.

Once you give the company this information, they will need roughly three weeks to manufacture your custom hot tub cover. It will be made with a foam core that is five inches thick and three inches of tapering on the sides.

Lifting the cover will not be a problem with the two nylon handles included on the outside. When you’re ready to secure the cover down on the hot tub, you can use the four locking straps available.

The process of selecting your custom hot tub cover is a lot easier than it sounds. Give it a chance if you don’t like any of the other cover choices on the market. We’re confident you’ll be thrilled with the results.

The Best Hot Tub Cover Lift

If you have a heavy hot tub cover, you need the Cover Valet Spa Cover Lift and Caddy. It is compatible with spas of many different sizes and shapes, such as octagonal, round, square, and rectangular spas. After the cover is lifted, the caddy will secure it in place until you’re ready to use it again.

The high-grade aluminum material and gas spring mechanism of the cover lift gives it the strength to lift the heaviest hot tub covers imaginable. It only takes a couple of minutes to install the cover lift as well. The height can be adjusted to anywhere between 30 and 40 inches to accommodate the size of your spa.

Keep in mind that a clearance of 36 inches is required for the lift to function correctly. Remember that when you select a location for your hot tub. If you can follow that advice, you shouldn’t have any problems installing the Cover Valet Spa Cover Lift and Caddy. It is even easier to use, as well.

The Best Cover Guard

A cover guard can offer additional protection to your hot tub cover. Since you’ve probably spent hundreds of dollars on your hot tub cover, a cover guard can help protect your investment. That way, your hot tub cover can continue to offer insulation to your spa water and protect it from outdoor elements and weather.

The Classic Accessories Veranda Rectangular Hot Tub Cover is the perfect cover guard for most hot tubs. You don’t necessarily need to have a rectangular hot tub because this 82-inch cover guard can cover all different sizes and shapes. Its water-resistant heavyweight polyester fabric features air vents that lower condensation and shield away UV rays and strong winds. You can ensure a tight fit on your hot tub cover with the adjustable elastic hem cord included.

The Best Solar Blanket

A solar blanket is an economical way to keep your spa water heated. It has the resemblance of bubble wrap that you place on the surface of the water. As the sunlight shines down on it, the wrap absorbs the heat from the sunlight and transfers it to the water. There are also insulation properties included as well.

We recommend the Swim Time Solar Spa and Hot Tub Blanket. It is a solar sheet with dimensions of 7′ x 8′, which you can easily cut to conform to your hot tub’s shape and size. The blanket is resistant to chemicals and UV rays as well. Therefore, you should get plenty of good years out of this solar blanket. Not only that, but it will reduce the amount of moisture that makes contact with your hot tub cover. That will help preserve the cover’s lifespan as well.

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Protect Your Pool Heater from Mice

Protect Your Pool Heater from Mice

Does your swimming pool have a heater installed? If so, then you probably have problems with it all the time, right? The reason for these problems might surprise you.

It is not a bad electrical wire or outlet that you need to worry about. Instead, the problem could be due to rodents, particularly mice.

When it gets cool outside during the fall and winter seasons, the rodents will want to find someplace warm to a shelter. What better place to go than your pool heater? It provides all the warmth they’re looking for.

Heater Damage

Rodent infestations happen fast. Once rodents get into your pool heater, they won’t waste any time damaging it. Mice and rats will do everything, from chewing on the electrical wiring to filling the heater up with feces and debris. Most people never check the inside of their pool heater until the pool stops getting heated. By that time, it is too late.

You need to take precautions and shield your pool heater from outdoor rodents. Otherwise, they will cause damage to your gas pool heater, and then it won’t work anymore. You also neck to inspect your pool heater periodically to ensure everything looks okay. You can never be too careful.

How to Get Started

To begin building the barrier for your pool heater, you will need to obtain some basic tools from your local supply store or hardware store. These supplies include:

  • Rubber snakes
  • Chicken wire
  • Steel wool
  • Mothballs
  • Wood panel

It shouldn’t cost you too much money to purchase these supplies. Just think about how much money you’ll save by protecting your pool heater. After all, it is greatly expensive to repair a pool heater. The supplies to protect it have a minimal cost in comparison.

Once you have the supplies, you can start adding protection to your pool heater. Follow the steps below.

Step #1

Grab some mothballs and put them inside of the control panel. The aroma of mothballs will help deter rodents away.

Step #2

Look for small holes, cracks, or other openings in the pool heater. Place steel wool inside of these areas to cover them up. Make sure there are no openings whatsoever because rodents like to crawl through them, even when they’re tiny. The rodents will attempt to chew their way through the steel wool, but it won’t work. The wool will hurt their mouths and make them give up trying to get through. If they continue, they will eventually die from trying to get through.

Step #3

Now you’ll want to create an additional barrier around the sides of the heater. Use hardware cloth to create the barrier because rodents won’t be able to chew through it. This makes a total of two unchewable barriers.

Step #4

To ensure all these barriers stay securely in place and protected from the wind and rain, you need to add wood paneling to the sides of the pool heater. The panels will cover the cloth and steel wool barriers that you previously made to keep them inside.

Step #5

You’re pretty much done at this point. If you want to go one step further, you could put down a couple of rubber snakes around your heater as an extra deterrent. Rodents won’t want to go near something that looks like a snake out of fear of getting eaten alive. It might not work always, but it cannot hurt either. Give it a try and see what happens.

Last Word of Advice

When you’re ready to turn on your pool heater, you must remove all of the mothballs and barriers you added before. They should only be installed while you keep your pool heater off. Don’t turn on your heater with all of those materials installed or else it’ll cause problems for the heater.

If rodents have already damaged your swimming pool heater unite, then shut off all the electricity to the heater. Have an exterminator come and remove the rodents and their nest from your backyard. After the rodents are exterminated, you’ll have to repair or replace the damaged wires or components of the heater.

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How to Troubleshoot Swimming Pool Heaters

Troubleshoot Pool Heaters

When you purchase a swimming pool heater that is under a manufacturer’s warranty, you are not allowed to troubleshoot the heater yourself if it is not working correctly. Doing so could void the warranty. However, if the warranty has already expired on your pool heater, then you could probably save a lot of money by fixing it yourself.

Let’s take a look at the four most common issues that cause swimming pool heaters to stop working correctly and the best remedies for these issues.

The Heater Does Not Ignite

Ignition failure happens a lot with pool heaters. Before you investigate the matter, make sure the heater is turned on. Now set a higher temperature on the thermostat than the current temperature of the pool water.

Next, take a look at your fuel filter and fuel pump. Are they dirty? If so, then you must clean them out thoroughly.

Light the pilot if it is not lit already. Do you notice the pilot light going out quickly? If so, it could have something to do with the venting, gas pressure, or air supply. Check out these areas of the heater to see if they’re causing a problem.

You cannot have a functional heater without a steady flow of gas. Check the gas supply valve and make sure it is turned to the “ON” position. Also, all the valves for the filter and plumbing should remain open as well.

The Water Flow is Too Low

A pool heater needs water to flow through it consistently to stay operational. The latest pool heaters contain special pressure sensors that can determine when there are changes to the water flow. 

If the water flow ever gets to be too low, then a warning message will appear on the LCD screen of the heater. Either that or you’ll notice warm water is not coming out of your heater as much as it should be. Do not panic when this happens because it is more common than you might think.

First, check the pressure gauge of your pool filter to get the current PSI reading, which is the pressure reading. High PSI means your filter needs to be cleaned because the heater needs more pressure when there is less water flow. A clogged filter obviously restricts water flow, which is why it must be cleaned. 

If the filter is not the problem, then perhaps the pump basket needs to be cleaned instead. This is the strainer basket inside of the pump. Take out the basket and clear out any debris in it. You can use a garden hose for this task. Before you reinstall the basket and its lid, check to see if they have any cracks in them. If they do, then replace them immediately.

Other Tips

Does your swimming pool use a lot of other water features simultaneously? It could be what is restricting water flow to the heater if this is the case. Your pool pump cannot handle too much demand, so you need to reduce the demand by removing any unnecessary water features. But if you insist on having more features, then get a bigger motor for your pump. Either that or alternate when you use certain features so that you don’t use them simultaneously.

Pool heaters require a certain number of gallons per minute (GPM) to flow through them. If you’re using a variable speed pump, check to see if it’s pumping the minimum gallons per minute required for your heater. If it’s not, then you probably have the heater on a low setting.

If you’ve followed all of this advice and still have low water flow, then your pressure sensor is likely defective. Your pressure sensor checks to see if the pool water is flowing into the heater before it gets turned on. A faulty pressure sensor might prevent the proper water flow level from being detected. 

If you have a clean pool filter and you’ve activated your pool pump, then your pool pressure sensor should have the ability to receive voltage. Use a multimeter to test how much voltage is passing through the pressure switch. If there is little to no voltage detected, then it must mean you have a bad pressure sensor. Replace it immediately.

The Heater Cycles Between the On and Off Power Setting

Does your swimming pool heater keep shutting off and turning on automatically? If so, then you could have a problem with your power supply or electrical connection. If not, then perhaps the water chemistry of your pool is not balanced correctly. Check the manual of your pool heater to determine the correct water balance for it. If you don’t maintain the chemical levels correctly, then it could damage your heater.

Another thing you should do is inspect the components of your heater, such as the pressure sensor, high limit switch, and thermal regulator. If they appear to be defective or corroded, then replace them at once. Sometimes the heat exchanger will suffer chemical damage over a period of time, so check its condition too.

And, of course, clean your pool filter if it is dirty. When a clogged pool filter causes water pressure to decrease, it could force the pressure sensor or the entire heater to shut down. Cleaning or replacing the pool filter is one of the easiest ways to ensure that the heater does not cycle on and off by itself.

The Pool Heater Does Not Heat the Water

Even if the pilot ignites in your pool heater, you might still find the pool heater is unsuccessful in heating your pool water. If that’s the case, check on the temperature sensor to see if it works or is installed correctly. Your thermostat should also get set to a higher temperature.

If none of these steps helped, then your heater must be too small for the size of your pool. It is always better to use a large heater with a smaller pool than a small heater with an oversized pool.

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What Size Pool Heater do I Need Sizing Calculator

What Size Pool Heater do I Need

Sizing a heater for a swimming pool is no easy task. Most people try to avoid it altogether because it involves a lot of measurements and calculations. Instead, it is simpler to purchase a large heat pump and heater because it has a better chance of successfully heating the pool.

However, a big heat pump and the heater could mean higher electrical costs than necessary. If you’d rather have power efficiency from these heating sources, then it is better to size your heater so that you consume just the right amount of power for it.

The Sizing Process

When you go shopping for a pool heater, don’t just purchase the first one that you come across. There are a few considerations to make before selecting a pool heater. Some of those considerations include:

Most people don’t have a problem figuring out the manufacturer and fuel source they need for their desired pool heater. However, their biggest concern is choosing the right size heater. They don’t know which size is the right size for their swimming pool. The lazy way to solve this problem is to choose a large heater. You’ll then know it can heat your pool water no matter if it is a big or small pool. For instance, you could purchase a large 400K BTU Pool Heater and heat your pool water at twice the speed that a 200K BTU Pool Heater could heat it. On the downside, the 400K BTU Pool Heater burns double the amount of gas. But if you have a spa integrated with your pool, then it’ll require the biggest BTU Pool Heater you can afford. Because of this, you’ll end up consuming more electricity because the heater has to heat two different bodies of water. If you only have a swimming pool, then you’re better off calculating the heater size so that you can have better power efficiency.

How to Perform the Sizing Calculations

1. Calculate the Area of the Pool Surface

What is the surface area of your swimming pool? You must figure this out before moving forward. It is a simple calculation because you only have to multiply the pool’s length by the width of the pool. Then you will have your answer.

Example: Let’s say the dimensions of your pool are 20′ x 30′. The surface area would be 600 square feet.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t factor in the number of gallons in your swimming pool to calculate the heater size. Even though it is important to know the gallon size, the surface area size is more important. After all, bigger surface areas give heat more of a chance to escape. It also means you have to heat more water because it covers a much larger area, even if the water is not high. Therefore, you must purchase a pool heater that can heat the entire surface area.

2. Calculate the Minimal BTU Size Needed

Now that you know the surface area of your swimming pool, divide the answer by three. The new answer will give you the “minimal BTU size” to accommodate that particular surface area size.

Going back to the previous example, you have 600 square feet for the surface area of the pool. Divide 600 by three, and you have 200. That means you should purchase a pool heater with at least 200,000 BTUs. Of course, you can go higher than 200,000 BTUs if you want. It is only the smallest recommended size, so don’t go lower than 200,000 BTUs in this case.

Most swimming pools lose heat during the night because there is no sunlight. If you don’t have a solar cover, your only way to retain heat is to have a pool heater with a huge BTU size. Gas heaters work well for this.

3. Other Considerations

Okay, so you know the minimum BTU size recommended. If you choose to purchase a larger heater for better power efficiency, all related variables should be considered first.

For instance, do you have a solar cover for your pool? Do you swim in your pool often? Are heavy winds frequent in your environment? All these things can affect how much work your heater needs to do.

If you don’t’ have a solar cover, then a 300K BTU Pool Heater model should be acceptable. It will be strong enough to make up for the water evaporation, unforeseen heavy winds, and any additional heat loss incurred. It is excellent for nighttime swimmers too.

But if you were to include a solar cover in addition to the pool heater, then your water will heat much faster. Not only that, but your heater will consume less gas or electricity because it won’t have to work as hard. In this case, a smaller heater that is 200K BTU is fine. It will save you money in the long run.

Sizing the Raypak Residential Gas-Powered Pool Heater

If you choose the Raypak Residential Gas Heater, you can use the convenient gas heater calculator on their website to determine the right size you need. The calculator considers your state and city and the average temperature of the air in that location. Then you can enter your desired temperature for the pool water.

After that, the calculator will give you all the size information you need to know. It will also give you the cost information for the propane and gas required to power it. You can compare these costs to the standard energy costs of electric-powered pool heaters.

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Top Options on How to Heat a Pool

Methods for Heating a Swimming Pool

Swimming pools shouldn’t only be used during the summertime when it is warm outside. Wouldn’t it be nice to use your swimming pool during the colder months of autumn? If you can heat your pool water properly, you can use it until the snowflakes start falling in the winter.

Traditional pool heaters can be rather expensive to purchase and operate. Not only do you have to buy the heating device itself, but you also have to pay for the electricity to keep it powered. You could end up paying as much as $1,000 every month to keep your pool heated. Plus you must expect to pay for maintenance which includes regularly clean ups. Why spend all that money when there are more inexpensive ways to keep a pool heated?

Put a Solar Cover Over the Water

A solar cover will absorb heat from the sun and transfer it to the water. It will also reduce evaporation and heat loss while keeping your pool clean when it’s not in use. Think of a solar cover as a lid that protects the water and keeps it heated at a comfortable temperature.

Solar covers come in different sizes. The cost of a solar cover depends on the pool size. However, it won’t cost you nearly as much as an electric or gas heater would cost you. The best part is you have no monthly costs added to your electric bill because a solar cover uses free energy from the sun.

1. Solar Sun Rings

Solar sun rings are like smaller versions of solar covers. The difference is that solar sun rings will cover specific areas of your pool, while solar covers will cover your entire pool. The rings still have the same effect because they help keep the pool warm and reduce evaporation. You can also move the rings around to any spot on the pool quickly.

Some people prefer solar sun rings because they’re cheaper. They’re also a good alternative when you cannot find solar covers that match your pool’s size.

2. Liquid Solar Pool Cover

Would you like an even more convenient alternative to the solar covers and solar sun rings? A liquid solar pool cover does the same type of job by preventing heat loss and water evaporation. But rather than putting a physical barrier on the pool water, you have to pour this special liquid formula into the water. After that, the liquid settles on the top of the water and forms an invisible barrier. This is the barrier that keeps the water protected and heated.

Don’t worry about swimming in the pool water while the liquid solar pool cover is in it. The liquid is formulated with biodegradable ingredients and no dangerous chemicals. Just note that if there is a lot of wind outside, it could break through the invisible barrier. That is why this method is not the most effective.

3. Windproof Pool Enclosure

Wind can be a big problem when you want to retain the warmth of your pool water. Warm water has a way to escape when it is windy outside. If you deal with this problem often, it might be worth creating a windproof pool enclosure. Such enclosures will shield your pool water from the wind so that the water can stay warm.

Enclosures vary in cost. It depends on the materials you choose to use for it and the size of your pool.

4. Black Hose Trick

If you want to save money and heat your pool, you might like the black hose trick. Even though it is rather complicated, it has proven effective for people who’ve tried it. The only item you need to purchase is the black garden hose.

To perform the trick, connect one end of your unraveled black garden hose to the exterior water tap on the side of your house. Run the hose along an area of your lawn where sunlight shines down on it directly. Coil up the hose in this sunlit area and leave it there to get heated. Let the other end of the hose to run into the pool water. Now turn on the tap.

If done correctly, the tap water flowing through your hose will get heated up before entering the pool.

5. Pool Heat Pump

The idea of a pool heat pump is rather ingenious. It pulls in warm air from around your swimming pool and uses it to generate heat for the water. You won’t have to depend on sunlight either. The heat comes entirely from the air outside.

The heat pump does not consume that much electricity either. It is a faster heating method than any of the previous five methods discussed on this list.

6. The Pool Heat Pump and Solar Cover Combination

If you want to maximize the heat generated for your swimming pool water, combine the pool heat pump and solar cover methods. Your pool water will stay warm a lot longer that way.

The solar cover can generate heat during the daytime, and the pool pump can generate heat at nighttime. The investment is still small to purchase both of these items.

The heat pump does not consume that much electricity either. It is a faster heating method than any of the previous five methods discussed on this list.

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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Swimming Pool Heater

How much does a pool heater cost?

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Do you sense like you’re solely getting one weather season worth of usage out of your swimming pool? Would you hope to be able to do laps in the chillier months without thinking like you’re floating in the Arctic Sea? If the response is yes, a swimming pool heater is a direction to go.

While supplementing a pool heater demands an upfront expense, it benefits you maximize your purchase by being capable to utilize your swimming pool and spa for much more of the time. Amidst setup and running costs, a pool heater costs between $500 and $7,000, with the medium cost around $2,200.

Pool heater varieties

There are numerous basic types of pool heater, with ranging features, installation costs, and running costs.

  • Solar pool heaters – If you reside in a sunshiny place like California or Arizona, a solar swimming pool heater can be an appealing and budgetary choice, considering they run uniquely on solar energy and are free to run. These can begin as low as $250.
  • Electric pool heaters heat pump  – Electric pump heaters work on electricity and can operate in sunshiny or shaded conditions. These heaters particularly perform well when the temperature is beyond 50 degrees, because they draw outer air in, heat it, and pass it to the swimming pool water. They’ll place you back within $1,200 and $3,500.
  • Electric resistance heater –These swimming pool heaters use power via resistors to warm the pool and don’t release any air pollution, although they may utilize a notable amount of electricity through cooler months. These prices between $1,900 and $4,300.
  • Gas swimming pool heaters – Gas pool heaters use oxidization to warm swimming pools and heat extremely efficiently. They’re not the most favorable eco heating choice, but they are the most effective in a colder climate. They run at around $2,100 to $4,800.

Pool Heaters Installation costs

An important factor when picking a pool heater is the price of installation, and it’s usually favorable to negotiate with a professional. You surely don’t want to take any risks when combining electricity and water.
The central price for pool heater installation is within $500 and $1,500, although every heater type conveys its own installation expense. Gas heaters favor being the most pricey to install, although these costs can differ depending on your location and swimming pool contractor. Want to save money toward your pool heater? Make sure you’re getting the best prices.

Pool Heaters Operation costs

Beyond acquisition and installation expenses, you’ll also want to factor running costs into your budget. Solar swimming pool heaters are an attractive choice, because there’s no fuel expense correlated with their operation. Nevertheless, they do still need a pump to run, which costs several hundred dollars a year in electrical expenses. Electrical resistance and heat pumps equate around $120 a month in power to run. Gas heat pumps remain the most costly option, depending on the type of fuel you prefer to utilize. They can cost within $400 and $600 a month to run.

Choosing the right heater

You will additionally require to estimate the size of your swimming pool and its location before you arrive at your concluding decision.
Big pools in shaded sections are more costly to connect and operate. More modest swimming pools and ones in sunny regions are commonly considerably less costly to run. Other circumstances to consider include employing a pool cover to retain heat in as well as the weather in your region.

Time to dive in!

While there are some important obligations associated with swimming pool heater installation, the people that use their swimming pool regularly can benefit significantly. Whether you prefer a solar pool heater for the green advantages or a gas one for its preferred heating capability, you’ll certainly end up consuming a lot more time outside in your pool.

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Swimming Pool Accessories & Maintenance You Must Have

Pool Accessories

Some people spend so much time maintaining their pools that they no longer enjoy having one anymore. Between cleaning and balancing the water in the pool, it can start to feel like another full-time job. If this is how you feel, then you should consider purchasing a couple of accessories for your pool. These accessories will make you feel happy about your pool again. The best part is that you won’t need to spend much money.

How to Find the Best Accessories

A great pool accessory must either be functional, fun, or both. LED lights for pools are an example of both. They provide the function of allowing you to see the pool at night and they provide the fun of making your pool look more attractive.

Other types of awesome pool accessories include a patio table, pool float (canopy), cooler, and towel warmer. You can use any of these accessories for any type of pool, such as an inground or above ground pool.

Let’s look at the top 15 accessories for your pool

The following sand filter models offer low maintenance and affordability.

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Bluetooth Speakers with Colorful Lights

Inflatable Pool Float Set Volleyball Net & Basketball Hoops

Water Hammock Inflatable Pool Float

Wireless Floating Pool Speaker By ECEEN

The best pool parties always have music. But you don’t need to blast music from the inside of your house. Instead, purchase a few wireless floating pool speakers and place them on the surface of your pool water. Don’t worry about them getting wet because they’re waterproof.

These pool speakers let you adjust the volume easily and provide high definition stereo sound that everyone in the pool will enjoy listening to. Use your computer, smartphone, or tablet to connect to the speakers and play music from your personalized playlists. Your mobile devices let you perform all sorts of speaker functions, such as volume control.

Poolmaster Pool and Spa Waterfall Fountain

Pool circulation is very important. But you don’t just need to rely on a pump for that. You can also install a nice waterfall fountain to improve circulation even more. In addition, the fountain adds attractiveness and coolness to the pool.

You can totally adjust the direction and height of the spray from the fountain. The Poolmaster is compatible with above ground or in-ground swimming pools and should fit a threaded return fitting that is 1.5 inches. The installation is very simple and easy to perform. Give this one a chance!

FrogLog Critter Saving Escape Ramp by Swimline

You might be wondering what is fun about this pool accessory. Well, it saves you the hassle of having to clean out dead frogs that drowned in your pool. The Swimline escape ramp gives frogs a way to exit your pool so that they don’t drown in it. It is a win-win for you and the frogs.

Of course, you can use the Swimline escape ramp to help more than just frogs. It also works with bees, rabbits, snakes, birds, mice, and squirrels. If any of these creatures get into your pool water, now they can escape too. This means you won’t need to clean up so much from your water. Assembly is easy and simple. You should purchase a couple of these ramps and spread them out around the pool.

Aqua Monterey 4-in-1 Inflatable Hammock Pool Float

The Aqua Monterey is more than just a simple pool float. It can be converted into a lounge chair, hammock, exercise saddle, or drifter too. You’ll find a lot of convert from the woven fabric because it helps you stay cool as you float on the pool.

The measurement of the Aqua Monterey 4-in-1 is 54” x 27.5”. Its capacity is 250 pounds, which is just enough for one adult person. Inflating and deflating the pool float is quite easy too.

Offset Cantilever by LCH Outdoor Umbrella

It can be fun to spend some time under the sun, but not too much time. Eventually, you’ll want to shade yourself so that your skin doesn’t get burned. The LCH Offset Cantilever by LCH Outdoor Umbrella provides both shade and 98% protection from UV rays. In addition, the umbrella is fire retardant and water resistant.

The umbrella’s steel ribs and pole contain a special powdered coating which makes them resistant to rust. That way, the humidity of the pool environment won’t bother it so much. And if it’s windy outside, the wind vent of the umbrella will give it more stability. You have nothing to worry about when you open this umbrella and receive 10 feet of perfect shade.

Aquatix Pro Aluminum Pool Accessory Hangers

You never want to leave your pool accessories on the ground, such as your vacuum hose, skimmer, telescopic poles, and other important ones. If you do, they’re more susceptible to getting damaged. It is better to store these accessories away from the ground in a place where they can be protected. Besides, someone may trip over the accessories if they’re on the ground.

The Aquatix accessory hangers are the perfect solution to this problem. If you have a fence, just place these hangers on it and then hang your accessories on the hangers. This will keep them off the ground.

The aluminum material of the hangers is resistant to rust. And even though it is lightweight, it is also heavy-duty material too. Each hanger can handle as much as 33 pounds of weight.

Alternatively, if there is no fence on your property, try mounting the hangers on vinyl siding, concrete walling, metal posts, or anything that is durable. The hangers include the necessary mounting hardware that you’ll need to install the hangers. The manufacturer provides a money-back guarantee in case you’re not happy with it. So, you have nothing to lose.

Brookstone Towel Warmer

Have a patio? Plug in the Brookstone Towel Warmer on there. That way, you have a warm towel available to use after you pull yourself out of the pool water and into the cold open air. The towel warmer has a large capacity to store 2 oversized towels or several smaller towels.

Your pool towels will stay very warm at 120°F. Overheating is never a worry you’ll have because the warmer will automatically shut off after a certain point. If you have a regular 120-volt AC outlet available, you can plug the warmer into it.

Make sure you have a GFCI outlet if you’re plugging in the warmer near the pool water. This will ensure that you stay safe around the water. If there is no GFCI outlet, hire an electrician to install one for you. Don’t attempt to do it yourself.

Pool & Spa by Poolmaster Footbath

When you’re preparing your pool for guests, it often requires you to skim the water and remove all the twigs and grass from it. Then after your guests swim in the water, you’ll have to skim the water again because of all the new twigs, grass, and other debris that they brought in there.

Don’t put up with this anymore. Pool & Spa by Poolmaster Footbath can be positioned next to the steps on the deck. Before people step into the pool, they can place their feet in the footbath to rinse them off. That way, they’re feet are clean before they enter the water. This keeps your pool clean too.

Inflatable Floatmingo Drink Holders by GoFloats

Can you imagine having your tasty beverages floating on the water next to you? These Floatmingo drink holders may look like flamingoes, but they’re actually drinking holders which can secure your drinks in place as they float on the water. These holders are both useful and attractive at the same time.

Float Storage Bin and Pool Toy with Noodle Holder

Do you have an abundance of pool floats and toys spread out everywhere in your backyard? If so, you need a handy storage bin to store all these accessories together and keep them protected.

This storage bin is constructed from a high-quality mesh that lets air access your pool toys and accessories. So, if you put wet accessories in the storage bin, they will dry on their own as the air hits them. This reduces the risk of mold forming and spreading in the storage bin and creating an unhealthy situation.

The storage bin doesn’t need to be assembled with tools. The wheels on the bottom allow you to move it anywhere at any time.

Keter Outdoor Cooler Table

The Keter Outdoor Cooler Table doesn’t require you to have a pool, but it is always better to have one near it. Rather than going back inside your home all wet and getting your floors soaked, you can just sit down at the table and rest. Meanwhile, you can take a drink out of the cooler which is connected to the table. The cooler can store up to 40 bottles or 60 cans while ice is in there too.

If you’re throwing a pool party, you’ll have a convenient way to store drinks outside for everyone. No more running back inside just to get a drink for someone. The cooler is insulated, so the drinks will stay cold for a maximum of 12 hours. When you close the cooler, you can set up the patio table and enjoy its contemporary design as you set at it. There are three color choices available for the table to accommodate your preferred decor.

Intex Clear Color Tube

There is nothing wrong with purchasing a couple of cheap inflatable tubes. If you’re inviting a bunch of children to a pool party, color tubes like these are just fine for them. Save the expensive floats for the adults when they go swimming. This reduces the chances of your expensive floats getting damaged or popped. The Intex Clear Color Tube has a diameter of 36 inches and is quite colorful. Kids will enjoy using them in the water

Deluxe Inflatable Movie Screen by Gemmy with Storage Bag

Imagine you’re in your pool watching a film on an inflatable movie screen at one end while you’re at the other end. How cool would that be?

This is a 123” x 70” inflatable screen. The measurement of the total unit is 12’ x 11.5’. The screen will stay in place with the tethers and stakes which come with it. When your move ends, place the deflated screen in the storage bag. There are 2 fans built into the screen which make it easy and quick to inflate it whenever you want to use it.

Conclusion

So, do you have any idea which accessories you want to purchase for your pool? Think about which functions you want the most in your pool environment and then purchase the accessories which allow those functions to happen.

Fix Find - Pool Noodles - 5 Pack

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Swimming Pool Shock Treatments, How, When and why to Shock a Pool

How to Shock a Pool

The Process of Shocking a Swimming Pool

When your swimming pool needs to be shocked, it might make you slightly nervous. This is understandable because a lot of people feel that way, whether they’re experienced or amateur pool owners. It is never comfortable to manage lots of different chemicals. However, once you become more knowledgeable, perhaps you won’t feel so edgy.

First, you need to learn what shocking a pool actually means and why it is done. Once you understand that, you can easily grasp the steps to take for shocking the pool. After you do it a few times, you will get used to it. Then it will seem like no big deal.

You must shock your swimming pool regularly to keep bacteria and algae away from the water. In addition, shocking the pool will help make it smell good.

What Does pool Shocking Mean?

Have you ever passed by a public swimming pool and noticed a strong chemical smell coming from it? If you’re like most people, you probably assumed it was chlorine causing the smell. In reality, the smell is the result of something called chloramines. When there are chloramines present in a pool, it means the water is not being maintained properly.

When people go into a chlorinated swimming pool, they bring their urine, sweat, and oils into the water. These elements mix with the chlorine to create chloramines. As a result, that strong smell is present. But this isn’t the worst of it because your skin could become irritated if it is exposed to these chloramines for too long. Your lungs and eyes may also experience irritation too.

In order to eliminate the abundance of chloramines, you must shock your swimming pool. This simply refers to adding more chlorine to the water to kill the chloramines. A chlorine alternative can also be used instead. This chemical process is known as super chlorination.

About Chlorine in Pools

We will discuss pool shocking in a moment. But first, let’s go over various terms related to chlorine. This will help you understand the process better.

  1. Free Chlorine – This is the amount of chlorine in your pool water which is currently disinfecting it. The Free Chlorine level in your pool needs to be anywhere between 1 to 4 ppm (parts per million).
  2. Combined Chlorine – This is the chlorine which has already been exhausted in the water. In other words, it is not able to clean the water as efficiently anymore, even though it is still in there. The Combine Chlorine level should be under 0.2 ppm.
  3. Total Chlorine – Your Free Chlorine + Combined Chlorine equals your Total Chlorine. To determine the levels of Free Chlorine and Total Chlorine, you need to use a pool water testing kit. The Combined Chlorine can then be learned by subtracting the Free Chlorine from the Total Chlorine.
  4. Breakpoint Chlorination – When there is a sufficient supply of Free Chlorine to destroy the Chloramine’s molecular bonds, this is called breakpoint chlorination. To reach this level, you need 10 times the amount of Combined Chlorine.

Whenever you shock your swimming pool, you should attempt to go after the breakpoint. If you don’t reach the breakpoint, then a plethora of chloramines could end up in your pool. As the levels of chloramine increases without being checked, it’ll eventually get so bad that you’ll end up having to replace all the water in the pool.

Pool Shock Types

Ordinary chlorine tablets won’t be enough to shock your pool. There are better chlorine products available which allow you to do this.

Calcium Hypochlorite

Calcium hypochlorite is a classic swimming pool disinfectant which has been used since the year 1928. This chemical is quite cheap to purchase, and it is easy to use for shocking your pool.

Features

  • Commercial calcium hypochlorite has anywhere from 65% to 75% chlorine.
  • You must dissolve the calcium hypochlorite first and then add it to your swimming pool water.
  • Apply the calcium hypochlorite after dusk.
  • You cannot swim in the pool for 8 hours once you’ve applied the calcium hypochlorite.
  • The calcium hypochlorite adds to the water roughly 0.8 ppm of calcium per 1 ppm of Free Chlorine. Therefore, be careful if there is a lot of calcium in your water.
Lithium Hypochlorite

When there is a high level of calcium in your water, you can spend some extra money on lithium hypochlorite. The chemical dissolves faster than calcium hypochlorite. Because of this, you don’t need to dissolve it first. You can just place it in the water and watch it dissolve immediately.

Features

  • There is 35% chlorine in commercial lithium hypochlorite.
  • Apply it after dusk.
  • You cannot swim in the pool for 8 hours once you’ve applied it.
  • Aquatic life can be harmed by lithium hypochlorite. If you need to get rid of the water after it’s been treated recently, take extra special care.
Dichlor

Dichlor is shock chlorine that is simple to use. Some brands of dichlor let you add it to the water directly.

Features

  • Dichlor has anywhere from 50% to 60% chlorine.
  • It is suitable for shocking the pool and adding standard chlorine doses.
  • Most brands don’t require you to dissolve it first.
  • Roughly 0.9 ppm of cyanuric acid will be added per 1 ppm of Free Chlorine.
  • Use after dusk.
  • Wait 8 hours after applying it to the pool.
Non-Chlorine Shock

If you want to swim in the pool soon after you shock it, then try using a non-chlorine shock on the water. Potassium peroxymonosulfate is the main chemical used in non-chlorine shock. It is a cheaper and quicker type of pool shock treatment.

Features

  • It doesn’t matter when you add the non-chlorine shock to your swimming pool.
  • You only need to wait 15 minutes and then you can swim again.
  • Without the chlorine, it has no algaecide function.

The Importance of Night Shocks

Chlorine shocks are usually applied at nighttime because the sunlight will destroy any chlorine that is not stabilized. By doing a nighttime shock, your chlorine will stay strong and do its job.

How Often

You need to shock your pool at regular intervals. Don’t just wait until nasty symptoms like eye itchiness and bad odors occur. Shock your pool at least once every 1 to 2 weeks. This will ensure that your water chemistry stays maintained. If you use your pool more often, then it is better to shock it more often too.

Aside from these regular pool shock treatments, there are other times when shock treatments are necessary. Here are some examples:

  • Pool parties or any situation where lots of people are in the pool together.
  • Huge rainstorms and heavy winds hit the pool area.
  • A big change to the water level.
  • Feces in the pool

 

The more shocks you give your pool, the better it will be protected against contaminants like algae and bacteria.

The Procedure for Shocking Your Pool

Now you’re familiar with the chemicals involved. Next, you get to learn the actual steps involved in shocking the pool. Again, do this at nighttime if you’re using a chlorinated shock.

The supplies you’ll need include protective gloves, protective eyewear, long-sleeved shirt, pants, water test strips, closed-toe shoes, pool shock treatment, bucket (5-gallon capacity), and a wooden stick.

Figure out the volume of your pool before you begin (if you don’t currently know). A pool calculator can help you determine the amount of water that your swimming pool can hold.

Steps for Shocking
  • Put your protective accessories on.
  • The pool water needs testing to determine the amount of Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, and Combined Chlorine. Once you know this, you’ll know the amount of shock to use.
  • Read through the instructions that come with your pool shock treatment. It should have instructions for calculating the amount of shock needed. If you need to do your own calculation, here are the steps involved:
  1. The Free Chlorine is subtracted from the Total Chlorine. This gives you the Combined Chlorine.
  2. The Combined Chlorine is multiplied by 10.
  3. The Free Chlorine is subtracted from this total.
  4. Determine how many shock treatment ounces cause a chemical change of 1 ppm in 10,000 water gallons.
  5. The pool volume is divided by 10,000 gallons.
  6. The chemical change is multiplied by the difference between the Combined Chlorine/Free Chlorine and the divided pool volume.
  7. Divide the answer by 16 to convert it into pounds. This is the amount of pool shock treatment needed.
  8. If you must first dissolve the shock before putting it into the pool, place warm water into the bucket until it’s filled three-fourths of the way. If you don’t need to dissolve, go to step 4.
  9. Pour the shock chemical into the bucket and stir it around slowly. Your objective is to dissolve the chemical. Do this in increments of 1 pound. Go to Step 5.
  10. If dissolving the shock treatment was not necessary, figure out the number of shock containers needed. One bag should be added each time. Stop when you’ve made it to your determined breakpoint.
  11. The shock should be poured slowly into the water as you circle around the pool on foot. This will ensure it is distributed evenly. If there are solid particles stuck to the bottom of the bucket, lower the bucket into the water and try to dissolve the particles by moving the bucket around.
  12. Follow the recommendations of the manufacturer regarding how long you should wait before going into the pool again. That way, you don’t run the risk of experience eye or skin irritation.

Safety Considerations

Pool maintenance with shock treatments is necessary. However, there are some dangerous chemicals involved in this process. You must handle them carefully, or else it could cause you problems. In fact, if you don’t store your chlorine carefully, it can actually explode.

  • Protective gear needs to be worn, such as gloves and goggles, if chlorine is being dissolved or handled by you. Pool shock has been known to release traces of chlorine gas, especially the calcium hypochlorite shock. If you want to avoid skin and eye irritation, wear protective gear.
  • Try not to breathe from the containers because the chlorine gas in there will irritate your lungs and throat. Just keep your face away from the container.
  • Don’t mix different pool shock treatments together. These are different chemicals and mixing them could result in a huge negative reaction.
  • Follow the instructions carefully. Don’t dissolve it in the water unless you’re told to do that.
  • Use 1 container of shock treatment at a time. Wait until the container is empty before opening another one.
Conclusion

If you’ve made it this far, then you’re knowledgeable in pool shocking. The hardest part is the calculations, but they’re not really that bad. Basic math requires just a little bit of thinking, which is good for the brain. Besides, it is worth it because it means your pool will be clean and sanitary for use.

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Solar Pool Covers For Above Ground and Inground Pools

Solar Pool Covers

The Complete Solar Pool Covers Guide

Ice cold water in a swimming pool may be ideal for people who like to live adventurously. For the rest of us, a heated swimming pool is more ideal. But the only thing that’s probably stopping you from getting one is the expense. After all, things like gas heaters and electric heaters are expensive. That is why a more affordable alternative is a solar pool cover.

A solar pool cover uses the power of the sun to increase the temperature of the pool water, whether you have an above ground or inground swimming pool. Meanwhile, the cover prevents water from being lost, and it reduces the need for chemicals in some cases. But the energy savings will surely be the biggest benefit.

Anyone who’s owned a swimming pool has used a pool cover before. So, you already know it keeps out debris and dirt particles from getting into the pool. The difference here is the solar cover heats the pool in addition to covering it. The solar technology of the cover is designed to harness the sun’s energy and deliver its warmth to the water underneath the cover. If you live in a hot place like Florida, then you will benefit immensely from a solar cover. But in other places, a solar cover may not heat your pool water as well as a gas heater or electric heater.

The Science of Heating Water in a Pool

BTU is a unit of measurement which stands for “British Thermal Unit.” It measures how much heat is needed to produce a temperature increase of 1°F in 1 lb. of water. This is equivalent to the amount of energy which comes from a single lit match. In other words, a lit match produces enough energy to increase the temperature of 1 lb. of water by 1°F. When we’re talking about heating pool water, this would equal 1 BTU.

Most people will keep their pool water temperature at around 80°F. The reason it doesn’t stay at this temperature is because of water evaporation. If 1°F of water were to evaporate from the pool, it takes as much as 1,048 BTUs along with it. That’s a lot of heat for such a small amount of water gone.

Therefore, your objective is to replace the heat and water that the evaporation took away. This can be both costly and timely to have to deal with. First, you need to understand the amount of water you’re likely going to lose on a regular basis because of evaporation.

In most cases, you will lose a lot more than just 1 lb. of water. According to the Arizona Department of Water Resources, uncovered swimming pools in their region tend to lose anywhere from 4 to 6 feet of water annually because of evaporation.

How Solar Pool Covers Help

At this point, you should now understand that losing water in your swimming pool from evaporation will cause it to lose heat too. So, it doesn’t matter if you purchase a pool heater and thermostat because it won’t make a difference if there is evaporation. That is why you must focus on keeping water in your swimming pool.

Evaporation isn’t the only way you lose water in your pool. All the splashing that people do in the pool causes water loss too. In both cases, you must replace the water that’s been lost. After you do that, you need to heat the water to bring the warmth back to the pool. Rather than spend a lot of money on a heater, you can use a solar pool cover to get the same benefit at a fraction of the cost.

When you put a solar pool cover over the water of your swimming pool, it is like putting a giant magnifying glass over it. All the heat and energy of the sun’s rays pass through the cover and creates a warming effect in the water. In addition, the cover helps trap the heat underneath it in the water. This greatly reduces the chance of evaporation occurring.

Not all solar pool covers are the same. There are different types of covers out there which work differently and cause different effects. That is why when you go pool cover shopping, you need to know which one is best for your swimming pool. It must also accommodate the type of lifestyle you lead.

Solar Blanket

Solar blankets have been around for a little while. They look like giant pieces of bubble wrap which cover your swimming pool. Just make sure you don’t pop the bubbles, though. There are several different thickness levels and sizes available for these solar blankets. To choose the right size and thickness for your swimming pool, you need to take measurements of the width and length of the pool.

Solar blankets tend to be affordable on average, but you have the option to purchase a better-quality solar blanket for a little more money. And don’t worry if you purchase a solar blanket that is too big for your pool because you can trim it shorter if you want. This can also help if you have a custom size pool.

The Way a Solar Blanket is Used

When you take a solar blanket out of its packaging for the first time, you may be confused by what to do with it. Just take it to your swimming pool area and unfold it near the water. With the bubble side of the blanket facing down, spread the blanket over the water of the pool. The purpose of the bubbles is to help the cover float on the water. Meanwhile, the sun’s rays transfer heat through the bubbles and into the water underneath. That is how the water heats up.

There is nothing to plug in or anything. You just remove the blanket from its packaging, unfold the blanket, and then spread it out over the pool. If you find there is too much blanket material that extends beyond the pool, then simply trim it with scissors.

Here is a tip. Try to leave about 2 to 3 inches of extra flap near your skimmer. That way, you can tuck the flap underneath its edges. By doing this, you can actually push the debris and dirt particles into the skimmer when you go to take off the blanket.

When you are not using the pool, you should leave the solar blanket on it. This is especially important during the daytime because you’ll want the blanket to absorb as much of the sun’s rays as possible. Keep the blanket on at night too because it will prevent evaporation.

Don’t worry about running the pump and keeping the solar blanket on the water at the same time. It is safe to do.

If you plan on using the pool multiple times throughout the same day, you don’t need to keep putting the cover back on. Just put the cover on once you’re finally done for the day.

Taking Off a Solar Blanket from a Pool

If you like to swim regularly and you have a big pool, it can become a hassle to always have to take off a huge solar blanket. Some people deal with this by cutting separate panels out of the blanket and just place the pieces on the pool. This allows them to easily take each piece off the pool when they’re ready to swim. But if cutting up the blanket doesn’t appeal to you, then a solar cover reel is a great alternative.

Whether you have an above ground or inground swimming pool, you can position the solar cover reel on the front or back end of it. Then take the solar blanket and attach one end of that to the solar cover reel. The reel will wind up the blanket for you. This eliminates so much hassle from having to take off the blanket manually.

You can find wheels on some versions of solar blanket reels. The wheels make it easier to move the reel after the cover is rolled up. Other types of solar blanket reels include mounting hardware instead of wheels. This hardware lets you install the reel in one permanent location. When choosing one of these solar blanket reels, consider the amount of space that your pool area has.

If you choose not to get a reel, then you’ll have to manually pull off the cover. Start by pulling the cover 4 feet outward. Take the section that is sticking out and fold it in half. Pull out another section, but 2 feet outward this time. Fold this section and then pull out 2 feet of the next section. Continue this trend and keep folding the sections back and forth. This is known as an accordion fold. As you’re doing the folding, each section can be rinsed before it is folded. This helps keep everything clean.

Remember to take off the solar blanket before getting into the swimming pool. This goes for anyone else too, such as pets or children. You can’t just get lazy and remove some of the blankets because someone might get stuck under it in the water. If you want to maintain safety in your pool, then remove the entire blanket.

Solar Blanket Storage

When the summer season ends, and you’re no longer going to swim in your pool, you need to put the safety pool cover over it. First, take the solar blanket off the pool and clean it thoroughly. Make sure it dries out completely too. Otherwise, mold will form on the blanket after you put it in storage.

The cleaning process is quite simple. Find a grassy or soft area on the ground and place the solar blanket on it. Don’t use a hard surface like concrete because the bubbles of the blanket will get damaged. Spread the blanket out on the soft surface so that it is flat. Now you’ll need either a soft scrub brush or push broom as your main cleaning tool. Use clean water to soak the bristles and blanket of the tool. Start scrubbing the cover with the tool, removing all the debris buildup, dirt, algae, and other nasty things on there. Rinse the blanket and then dry it off. You can either hang the blanket outside or blast it with a leaf blower to dry it off.

Be sure not to let the solar cover dry on the grass of your lawn because the magnifying effect of the bubbles will cause your grass to burn.

At this point, your solar blanket should now be dry. You can reel it up with a pool cover reel for storage purposes. There may be a storage cover included with the reel that can offer ultraviolet and weather-resistant protection to your blanket. That way, the blanket can be stored indoors or outdoors. And even if your reel doesn’t have a cover included, you can just purchase one separately for it.

If the blanket is being folded, you can put it in a container and then seal it with a strong lid. This will ensure that pests don’t get into it. The container can be stored in a cool place after that. Make sure this is a place with no direct sunlight because sun exposure can cause the cover to shrink in storage. It will also prevent any deterioration occurring on the plastic container.

The Advantages of a Solar Blanket

You already know that a solar blanket can warm your swimming pool. There are also other benefits it provides too, especially where saving money is concerned. Let’s go over the main benefits now.

Cuts Down Evaporation

There is a 95% reduction in evaporation when a solar blanket is on your pool.

Traps Heat

When the sun goes down and the coolness of the night approaches, your pool starts to lose the heat that it previously gained from the sun. If you keep the solar blanket covering the water, it will help trap some of the heat and prevent it from escaping. Also, if you happen to be using a pool heater in conjunction with a solar blanket, it won’t take much power for the heater to keep the temperature warm for the pool.

Filters Debris and Insects

Solar blankets can serve as a filter for your pool as well. Outside elements like twigs, insects, and leaves won’t be able to get into the water if a solar blanket is covering it. Instead, this debris will pile up on the blanket. To remove the debris, scoop it out with a hand skimmer.

If you can successfully prevent debris from entering the water, you won’t have to set your pump on the highest setting to clear it all out. This will save you a lot of money on electricity.

Spend Less on Chemicals

You already know that water evaporation takes heat and water from your pool. However, there is something else that is removed too… chemicals. When you treat your water with chemicals, and then the water evaporates, the chemicals go along with it.

A solar blanket can help you keep anywhere from 35% to 60% of the chemicals in the water. This will reduce your chemical expenses by about 50% annually. These savings are worth more than the price you pay for the solar blanket.

Solar Rings

Some people don’t like the inconvenience of handling a solar blanket. Putting on the blanket, removing the blanket, and storing the blanket can be a lot of work. If you feel this way, try using solar rings on your pool instead. You may find solar rings to be quite decorative for your pool because of their unique patterns and printed pictures. You’ll typically see pictures of palm trees and flowers on the rings.

You must purchase each solar ring separately. The cost of one solar ring is about $30 on average. If you want to purchase a set of solar rings, you’re looking at the cost of between $140 and $160 on average. The cost depends on the quantity of the rings in the set. Some have more rings than others. Big pools need more rings, so you’ll need to do some math to determine how many rings you’ll need for your pool.

Solar Rings: How they’re Used

Solar rings don’t have air bubbles as solar blankets do. Instead, you need to inflate the solar rings prior to putting them on your pool water. You will slightly inflate the inside area and then firmly inflate the outer area. It is like how a balloon is blown up. Once you’re done inflating the solar rings, put them on the pool water.

Around the outer portion of the solar rings, there are magnets which attach them to other rings on the pool. This shrinks the gaps between the rings and prevents overlapping, so less water is shown.

Don’t expect every centimeter of the water to be covered, though. Rings and squares will always leave gaps, whether they’re attached by magnets or not. For this reason, they’re not as good at trapping heat in the water as solar blankets are. They also cannot stop evaporation as much as solar blankets can. On the upside, you can keep the pump running as the solar rings float on the water.

Taking Off the Solar Rings

Solar rings don’t have air bubbles as solar blankets do. Instead, you need to inflate the solar rings prior to putting them on your pool water. You will slightly inflate the inside area and then firmly inflate the outer area. It is like how a balloon is blown up. Once you’re done inflating the solar rings, put them on the pool water.

Around the outer portion of the solar rings, there are magnets which attach them to other rings on the pool. This shrinks the gaps between the rings and prevents overlapping, so less water is shown.

Don’t expect every centimeter of the water to be covered, though. Rings and squares will always leave gaps, whether they’re attached by magnets or not. For this reason, they’re not as good at trapping heat in the water as solar blankets are. They also cannot stop evaporation as much as solar blankets can.On the upside, you can keep the pump running as the solar rings float on the water.

Solar Ring Storage

When you temporarily remove the solar rings to swim in the pool, you can stack the rings on top of each other next to the pool. Try to put them somewhere that is protected from the winds. Otherwise, the rings may get blown around if the winds are too heavy. Look for loops around the outer portion of your rings because you can use these loops to hang them up somewhere.

When summer ends, and you need to store the solar rings for a longer time, the first thing you do is clean them. Remove debris from them with a brush or push broom. After you’ve done that, you can deflate the rings safely. There won’t be any chance of debris getting trapped inside the wrinkles and folds of the deflated rings.

The rings must be dried entirely before deflating them. This can be done easily by hand. If you try using a leaf blower, that’ll just create an artificial wind which blows the rings back into the swimming pool, or someplace even farther away. Leaf blowers are better for cleaning and drying pool decks.

 

Now that you’ve dried and deflated the solar rings, you can place them in their proper storage bags for safekeeping. Some rings come with storage bags but if yours don’t, just use a plastic container which has a firm lid. Store the container someplace dry and cold.

As always, don’t put the container somewhere that is exposed to direct sunlight. Avoid rough surfaces too.

Advantages of a Solar Ring

Solar rings have similar benefits to those of solar blankets. However, solar rings are easier to install and take off the water. More importantly, solar rings do not endanger the lives of anyone else who happens to swim or fall in the water. For instance, if a child were to jump in the water while the solar rings are on it, they would simply break apart. The child won’t get caught underneath the water like they would with a blanket.

Here are some other advantages:

Less Chance of Evaporation

You’ll see a 50% reduction in evaporation when you use solar rings on your pool water. This is not as much as a solar blanket, but you’ll still save a lot of money and heat.

Traps Heat

Solar rings don’t cover all the water, but they do cover a lot of it. This helps keep some of the heat in the water after dark.

Filters Out Debris and Insects

The solar rings will filter some of the debris and insects from getting into the water. But since there are still gaps between the rings, they won’t block all the debris and insects. When you see debris in the rings, scoop it out quickly so that it doesn’t fall into the water. If you do this, the pump and vacuum will have less work to do.

Save Money on Chemicals

You won’t use as many chemicals when you’re using solar rings. This will save you some money on having to purchase new chemicals. Although, the amount of savings won’t be as much as a solar blanket would give you.

Please note that solar covers are like solar mats because you don’t need to inflate them and they’re both flat. They also offer the same benefits, and caring and using them is virtually the same too.

Liquid Solar Cover

The idea of pouring a liquid solar cover into your pool water and warming it up that way might seem like science fiction to you. But it is actually a reality.

Liquid solar covers do exist. Their aliphatic alcohols produce a monolayer film which forms on the water. In other words, the liquid solar cover causes a thick fatty alcohol layer to lie on top of the water. This slows down the evaporation process or stops it entirely. If there is no evaporation, then there is no lost heat. Therefore, you continue to have a warmer pool with a liquid solar cover.

The cost of a liquid solar cover is anywhere from $10 to $30 on average. Some liquid covers cost more money, especially if you purchase multiple containers of it at once.

Liquid Solar Cover: How to Use

Liquid solar covers are either sold in bottles or dispersal packets. These packets have a fish shape to them. To open the dispersal packet, you just lightly cut it open and pour it into the pool water. Follow the directions of the packet and use the required number of packets to accommodate your pool size.

If you have liquid solar cover in a bottle, you need to measure it based on your pool’s volume. Then pour in the proper amount of the liquid.

If you can’t figure out your pool’s volume on your own, there is a pool calculator available that you can use.

You should put enough liquid in the pool to be good for one month. Look at the instructions that came with the product to know what the manufacturer recommends. If there is ever heavy rain or dry conditions in your environment, then your pool will likely need more liquid solar cover. The pump can stay on when a liquid solar cover is in the water.

Liquid Solar Cover: Can it be Removed?

You can’t just pick up the liquid solar cover and toss it aside. It is mixed in with the pool water, so the only way you can remove it is by draining the pool water and replacing it with new water.

On the other hand, there is an easier trick to removing a liquid solar cover. Just don’t add any more of the liquid to the pool. Over a certain time period, the existing chemicals in the water will dissolve on their own. It all depends on the amount of liquid solar cover in the pool and the size of the pool itself.

You should add a liquid solar cover to your pool regularly. Make it part of your normal pool maintenance routine.

Advantages of a Liquid Solar Cover

Liquid solar cover is not a toxic chemical. You can add it to your pool and still keep everyone safe who decides to go in the water. You won’t experience skin irritation unless you have a rare sensitivity in your skin. No residue will be left behind either.

If you have a pet who likes to drink water from the pool, the liquid solar cover in it won’t hurt your dog if they only take a sip here and there. But don’t let them drink too much of it or they might get sick.

Let’s look at some advantages of the liquid solar cover.

Less Evaporation

See a 15% reduction in water evaporation.

Keep the Heat

Liquid solar covers have 75% the effectiveness of solar blankets when it comes to keeping heat in the water. The best thing about a liquid solar cover is that it will contain to heat the pool at nighttime. It doesn’t need the sun for that.

Filters Out Debris and Bugs?

Unfortunately, a liquid solar cover cannot filter out debris and bugs for obvious reasons. Solar rings and solar blankets are certainly better at filtering than a liquid cover is. If you choose to heat your pool water with a liquid solar cover, then you must use a vacuum and skimmer regularly to keep your pool clean.

Cheaper Chemicals? Nope.

Liquid solar covers are comprised of chemicals. For this reason, you’ll be paying much more in chemical costs if you use liquid solar covers.

Extra Tips

You now understand how solar cover functions and operates. You know why it can benefit anyone with a pool. Let’s examine some more tips.

  • Keep the filter running when the day is at its hottest. This helps prevent lost heat due to evaporation.
  • Take off the solar rings and blanket. Shock the pool with chlorine after that.
  • Install a windbreak to surround the pool. This reduces even more evaporation from happening.
  • High wind speeds near the water cause additional evaporation. You can help block winds with things like privacy screens, patio furniture, plants, and a pool cage.
  • Only turn on water features when you’re near the pool. Things like waterfalls increase evaporation because of the additional surface area created.

 

No matter which type of solar pool cover you choose, it will trap more water and heat in your swimming pool versus not having one at all. Choose any solar pool cover that you want for your particular pool. If you already have a heater for the pool, you can still use a solar pool cover for it too.

Overall, you’ll save money because you won’t have to spend as much money on power, chemicals, and more water. Therefore, a solar pool cover is a great investment that will give you several years.

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Cleaning Your Pool After a Storm

Pool Rain

Steps to Cleaning Your Swimming Pool After a Rainstorm

Rain can have a negative effect on your pool water. Since rain is acidic, the pH balance of your pool will be compromised. If the rain comes down hard and heavy, it’ll cause additional water to fill your pool. This ends up diluting the pool water of its precious chemicals.

Light rain and showers won’t really cause any problems for your pool. But you should still take some precautions anyway to prepare your pool for the next rainstorm.

Preparing Your Swimming Pool for a Heavy Rainstorm

Below are some tips for preparing your swimming pool for a big rainstorm before it approaches.

Bring Inside Your Pool Accessories and Outdoor Furniture

Any outside accessories and furnishings that are loose or not tied down need to be brought indoors. Things like toys, floats, and chairs around your swimming pool area should be stored inside somewhere like a garage or shed. Otherwise, there is a risk of these objects getting blown around and knocked over by the heavy winds of the storm.

Here is a list of the common items around your pool area which need to be stored indoors:

  • Floats, toys, and games on your pool water
  • Potted plants
  • Smokers
  • Grills
  • All outdoor lounging chairs, furniture, and cushions
  • Landscaping gnomes and other items on the lawn
  • Pool cleaners, covers and/or other pool maintenance accessories and equipment

 

Whatever you do, don’t try to protect your patio furniture by placing it inside of the swimming pool. This can be hazardous to both the pool water and the entire structure of the pool. Your furniture will likely get ruined too.

Unhook the Gasoline and/or Electrical Lines

The pool pump must be deactivated prior to the storm. If there is a timer attached to the pump, make sure that is turned off too. You certainly wouldn’t want the timer to activate the pump during the storm. That will cause a lot of problems.

Turn off and disconnect any gas lines and/or electric lines that run to the pool. Put a heater cover over your filter and pump if you have one. If you have gas lines, take extra caution and ensure they’re shut off properly. Otherwise, a gas leak may occur if the storm is bad enough.

Pool Water Preparations

You must prepare the pool water for the storm. This means putting some algaecide in the water to reduce the risk of algae or any other organic impurities from getting in there. Rainwater tends to drive impurities like these to your pool water. That is why preparations for the pool water are necessary.

Note: A swimming pool should have overflows installed because they can drain out the extra water that comes from rainwater. The pool can be lowered by 12 inches. If you lower it any more, the storm produces hydrostatic pressure which could potentially pop out the swimming pool from the ground.

The Top 5 Steps for Cleaning a Swimming Pool Following a Rainstorm

The storm is over, and now it’s time to deal with the aftermath. This means your pool needs to be cleaned up and restored to its previous condition. If you took the precautionary advice that was just mentioned, then you shouldn’t have a tough time with this.

Turn ON the Pool Filter and Pool Pump

Inspect your pump baskets and skimmer. Remove any contaminants and debris from them. After you do that, turn your pool filter and pump back on. If there is small debris left behind, the filter can take care of it.

Use Skimmer to Clean Water Surface

Clean the area around your pool with a broom and/or garden hose. This can help clear debris which could potentially fall into the pool as you’re skimming. With a garden hose, spray away from the water, or else the debris will get pushed into the water.

Grab a pole and attach a flat skimmer or leaf net to it. Use this on the surface of the pool water to remove any visible debris from there. Do this prior to vacuuming, or else your vacuuming job will be difficult.

Brushing and Vacuuming

Use a pool brush on your pool ladder and steps. This debris can go into your water because the filter or vacuum will take care of it. If the floor of your pool has a drain, push the debris near it with the brush. If there is very little debris on the pool’s floor, then an automatic pool cleaner can be used rather than a manual vacuum cleaner. But if there is a lot of debris, then a manual vacuum is better.

Remember that heavy rain causes extra water to get added to the pool. This is beneficial when vacuuming large amounts of debris away from the pool’s floor. On the other hand, if there is hardly any debris there, then the excess water needs to get pumped out. Set the filter to mode “waste” and connect a backwash hose to it. Now turn on the pool pump and the water should be getting pumped out. Stop when the waterline of the pool water is roughly 7” from the top area of the pool.

Water Testing

When debris and rainwater fall into your pool, it alters the chemistry of the pool water. The pH levels of the water are greatly reduced as a result. That is why you need to test these levels after a storm and readjust them accordingly. Sometimes a professional water test is better to get done if the storm was huge. If you fail to check the water, you could end up with a cloudy or green swimming pool.

Aside from your pH levels, you need to check the levels of alkalinity, sanitizer and/or chlorine in the pool too. Sanitizer is good for eliminating contaminants brought into the pool by rain.

The cyanuric acid and/or calcium levels of the pool are generally not affected by rain. The only issue here would be the dilution of the water.

Shock the Pool?

You don’t need to shock your pool following a rainstorm. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to shock it either. Whenever there is a lot of heavy rain, it is a good idea to shock your pool afterward. This ensures that nasty contaminants are eliminated from the pool water.

Before shocking the pool, you need to adjust the balance of the water by draining it to the correct level. Then you test the levels of pH, sanitizer, and alkalinity in the water. Once that is done, you can go ahead and shock the pool water.

Remember to never swim in the pool during any kind of rainstorm or thunderstorm because you run the risk of getting struck by lightning or hit with flying debris.

After the storm, clean the pool like described in this article. Wait about 24 hours, and then you can go back to swimming in your pool again. If any major storms are forecasted, take the same precautionary and cleaning advice and do it again.

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How To Keep Bees and Wasps Out Of Pool

Keep Bees and Wasps Out Of Pool

Summer is a season that makes you want to jump right into your swimming pool and cool off. Unfortunately, bees and wasps are attracted to big water masses like swimming pools. For this reason, anyone in the pool is at risk of getting stung by a bee or wasp.

Remember that bees and wasps love pools of water, whether they’re natural or manmade. When they see your pool, they see a water haven for themselves. You’ll probably want to kill these annoying pests as soon as you see them. However, you need to think about it from an ecological standpoint. As annoying as we may find these pests to be, they are beneficial to the environment. That is why it is not a good thing to kill them.

What is the right answer then? The only solution is to repel bees and wasps from your swimming pool without actually killing them. Then you can swim in your own pool without the fear of getting stung. Meanwhile, the bees and wasps are still alive and continue to benefit the environment around you.

The Best Way to Repel Wasps from a Swimming Pool

Wasps are more difficult to repel than bees. Of course, the good thing about wasps is they eat centipedes, aphids, flies, and other small annoying pets. You could say that wasps are a natural pest eliminator. Think about this before you attempt to kill wasps by spraying the air and swatting them.

Here are ways you can protect wasps and keep them away from your pool:

Hang Up Fake Wasps Nests

Buy a few fake wasp nests and put them in areas around your home. Do this before the summer season, so the wasps won’t build any new nests. Instead, they’ll use your fake nests and stay away from your pool area.

Use a Professional

If there are too many wasps around your swimming pool and you cannot get them to go away by yourself, then you need to contact a professional exterminator. These professionals are trained to collect the wasps peacefully and move them somewhere else away from your pool.

The Best Way to Repel Bees from a Swimming Pool

Bees are also important to the environment. Fortunately, they are easier to remove from a pool area than wasps. No killing is needed.

Here’s how you can do that.

Create Another Water Source

Bees like water because they drink it. If your pool is the only exposed water source around, bees will fly into it for sure. That is why you need to create another water source for the bees to drink from.

It is important that you maintain this other water source throughout the entire summer. You should also put a small piece of cedar wood or stone on the water. This is in case the bees fall into the water and need to climb back out onto something.

Once you’ve established this setup, the bees won’t need your pool water anymore. This should greatly reduce the number of bees around.

Dryer Sheets

We normally use dryer sheets to freshen the smell of our clothes in the dryer. However, dryer sheets also serve a great purpose for repelling bees. In fact, bees despise dryer sheets and want to stay away from them.

Therefore, place dryer sheets around your swimming pool area. You can place them inside of baskets or underneath other objects to keep them weighed down. After you do this, bees will not want to get anywhere near them.

You’ll need to occasionally replace the dryer sheets with new ones because their effectiveness diminishes slowly in time.

Contact a Professional Beekeeper

If none of this is working for you, then you should contact a beekeeper in your area and have them take care of your bee problem. They can safely remove the beehive from your pool area without harming the bees.

Conclusion

Follow the advice that was just given, and you should have lots of success with keeping wasps and bees away from your swimming pool. These removal methods ensure the pests’ safety and it keeps the environment in good condition.

In rare cases, you may have an abundance of wasps and bees around your pool which puts people at risk. If you experience this type of situation, then destroying the beehives and nests is the only solution. But this should only be done when there is no other option. Most people find it unnecessary to go to this extreme, though.

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How to Manually Vacuum a Swimming Pool

Pool Vacuum

How to Manually Vacuum a Swimming Pool

You probably assume that an automatic pool cleaner eliminates the need to have to manually vacuum an inground or above-ground swimming pool. Now it is true that the small robot device can clean some of the pool, but it has a tougher time cleaning large amounts of debris. If debris is everywhere in your pool water, the automatic pool cleaner cannot vacuum it up properly. The debris just gets tossed back into the water. It is even worse when the pool water has a green misty color which is the result of algae.

In either of these situations, the only solution is to manually vacuum the debris from the pool water.

What is Required to Manually Vacuum a Swimming Pool?

Pools do not stay clean by themselves. They require humans to actually make an effort to clean them. But you need to have the right cleaning items first. Here is a rundown of what you need:

  • A vac head, otherwise known as a vacuum head. This gets attached to another item called a telescopic pole. Once they’re attached, you attach a scrub brush to the pole.
  • A long vacuum hose that can extend to any area of the swimming pool.
  • You may need a vacuum plate or skim vacuum.

 

If you have children, let them learn how to clean the pool. Then it takes the pressure off your shoulders.

Pool Filter

If you don’t have anyone else to help you vacuum your pool, then a pool filter will come in quite handy. It will make the job of vacuuming much easier.

When you clean your pool each week and perform regular maintenance on it, the setting on your pool filter may not require any adjustment. Just keep the setting on standard, and it should work fine.

However, if your pool water has a lot of debris, such as twigs and leaves, then the standard setting on your filter may not be enough. Any time a storm strikes, you can expect the massive amounts of debris to sink to the bottom of the water. The only way to remove the debris is with a vacuum. You’ll also need to make some adjustments to the filter. This will assist the vacuum in its job.

Your filter system should have at least a few different settings for managing the pool’s filtration. It all depends on the style and size of your swimming pool.

If you Have Multi-port Filters

Multi-port filters have numerous options available. Some even have settings to accommodate vacuuming, such as “Waste.” When you have this setting activated, water is pumped out of the pool. Meanwhile, the filter is bypassed.

When you choose the “waste” setting, the filter does not get clogged with flocculant, debris, dead bugs, and algae. However, the water level in the pool will decrease as the vacuum is running. Therefore, take a garden hose and make sure it has a hose filter attached to it. Use the hose to add fresh water to the pool as it is being vacuumed. Also, make sure the skimmer inlet doesn’t have air going in.

Position Valve Filters

2-Position valve filters are sometimes referred to as push-pull valve filters. They are best to use in smaller swimming pools. There is no “waste” setting with this filtration system. You can only choose “filter” was the setting. Once it is activated, the vacuumed water gets pulled into the filter and cleaned of its contaminants. Afterward, the filtered water flows back into the main pool water.

If you do routine pool cleaning, this is a great setting to use. Just be sure the filter is backwashed as you vacuum your pool and after you vacuum it.

Suction Pool Vacuum Assembly

  1. Check to see if the filter and pump are activated.
  2. The vacuum head attaches to the telescopic pole’s open-end area.
  3. Attach the hose and vacuum head together. A hose clamp might be needed if this end of the hose is feeling slippery.
  4. Put the hose, vacuum head, and telescopic pole in the swimming pool. The vacuum head should go on the floor of the pool.
  5. Take the vacuum hose and put the other end of it on a return jet in the swimming pool. Water will get pushed through the hose, which will push out the air inside.

Make sure the pump only has an open line from the vacuum inlet and nowhere else. Otherwise, the pump will suck debris and particles inside of it. Then your work will be for nothing.

While the vacuum head is on the pool’s floor, bubbles may come up from it. This is air getting pushed out. If you don’t see bubbles anymore, then the hose has no more air in it.

  1. Remove the end of the hose from the return jet. The vacuum plate now gets attached to this end. Use your hand to block the opening, then put it above the skimmer. Maintain a strong seal so that the suction remains.
  2. If there is no vacuum plate used here, take out the basket from the skimmer. Place your hand on the end of the hose which has water in it. Put the hose firmly in the suction hole, which is on the bottom area of the skimmer.

 

No matter which technique you select, suction gets created which sucks debris through the vacuum head and hose. It then travels to the skimmer and finally to the filter system where it gets filtered. If the suction is ever lost in the vacuum, you need to do these steps over again to get it back.

Vacuuming the Pool

Manually vacuuming your swimming pool takes a lot of work and time. Make sure you clear your schedule when you’re ready to do this.

The shallow end is where you will begin, and then you gradually move to the deeper end. Your strokes should be slow and long as you’re sweeping them in the water. You should overlap your strokes a little bit to ensure that you get all the debris.

Slow is important when cleaning a pool with your hands. Don’t try to do this quickly because it is not a race for time. If you go too quickly in your cleaning, debris will get pushed to the surface and take hours to go back down again. As a result, you’ll be forced to vacuum all over again.

If there’s an abundance of debris, it may be tough to avoid kicking it back up in the water. Just try to be as careful as you can so that you don’t accidentally make it worse. If you notice a lot of cloudiness in the water, you’ll need to wait a few hours for it to go away. Once it does, you can vacuum all over again and repeat the process.

If the vacuum head is ever stuck, just deactivate the pump for a couple of seconds to stop the force of the vacuum. Turn it back on and start again. Check the pressure gauge of the pool filter while vacuuming. If you see the pressure getting higher than the manufacturer’s recommended level, stop and just backwash the filter.

Alternatives to Pool Vacuuming by Hand

Everyone is different. Some people don’t mind manually vacuuming their pools by hand while others consider it work. Fortunately, there is so much pool vacuuming technology available that you don’t need to do it manually if you don’t want to. Let a robot do it for you automatically.

Here are the three types of automatic pool vacuums:

Robotic Pool Cleaners

Robotic pool cleaners are independent and are powered by electricity. This means you plug in the cleaners, put them in the pool water, and just watch as they clean everything for you. Your only real job is to empty the filter bag that is built into the cleaner after it gets filled with debris. Robotic pool cleaners are the best when it comes to automatic pool cleaning. Even though you need to pay more money for them, it is worth it if you hate cleaning pools yourself.

Pressure-Side Pool Cleaners

Pressure-side pool cleaners connect to the return line. The filter system supplies the water pressure which energizes a self-contained automatic cleaner. It travels on the pool’s floor and sucks up debris. The debris is stored in the filter bag of the device.

Suction-Side Pool Cleaners

Suction-side pool cleaners are like manually vacuuming your pool with automation. They are hooked up just like a manual vacuum. However, suction-side pool cleaners are different because they travel automatically on the pool’s floor. You don’t need to stand by the pool in the heat for hours doing this work.

Therefore, the best investment to make is with either a robotic cleaner or a pressure-side cleaner.

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Proper Water Chemistry Levels

Basic Pool Chemistry

Sanitation and water balance are the two most important things concerning pool chemistry.

Water Balance

Due to the delicacy of pool water, you must balance it to achieve the right harmony. Water balance means you maintain a pH level of anywhere from 7.4 to 7.6 in the water. This is a little bit higher than neutral when looking at the pH scale.

The three ingredients which balance water are calcium hardness, pH, and alkalinity.

PH

Keep the pH level at a minimum of 7.4 and maximum of 7.6. There are so many outside elements which can influence the pH level of the pool water, such as rain and the people who swim in it. If you have low pH, then you have acidic pool water. If you have a high pH level, you have basic water.

If you swim in low pH water, your eyes would likely burn. If you have high pH water, your eyes would likely dry out.

The way you balance the pH levels in pool water is with chemicals called pH increasers and pH decreasers. If you have high pH levels, then you would use a pH decreaser in your water. If you have low pH levels, then you would use a pH increaser. Make sense?

Alkalinity

The level of alkalinity should be between 100 ppm and 150 ppm. The abbreviation means “parts per million.”

Alkalinity assists in maintaining the pH levels and preventing them from increasing or decreasing. It does this by absorbing any huge water changes which influence the pH levels. This is known as a pH buffer.

Keep some alkalinity increaser readily available to use when needed.

Calcium Hardness

If you own a plaster pool, the level of calcium hardness should be within 200 ppm and 275 ppm. Even though calcium hardness does not really relate to water balance, it must be discussed because water seeks calcium wherever it can get it. If it has low amounts of calcium, the water may feed on the plaster of your pool to get it.

When your water has more calcium hardness added to it, the equipment and walls of the pool stay better protected. But don’t add a lot of calcium because you may experience issues like scaling in the pool. Just add the calcium hardness once at the start of the season. Then monitor the level of calcium hardness throughout the season. If you end up having too much calcium in the water, drain the pool water a little bit and then add some fresh water.

Maintain Balanced Water

If you’re new to maintaining pool water, then test the levels of alkalinity and pH every day. There are test strips available in stores. Use these strips to test the water for these elements to see if the water is balanced. If the results show balanced water, then you should keep some pH increaser, pH reducer, and alkalinity increaser stored away for the future.

There are no alkalinity decreasers sold in stores. Whenever you have low alkalinity and pH, you only need to add an alkalinity increaser to boost both of these chemical levels in the water. If you still don’t have a 7.4 pH level after doing this, then add some pH increaser until you do. And if you notice that you have high levels of alkalinity and pH, then you can lower both levels with just the pH decreaser.

If the pH is low and the alkalinity is high, add some of the pH decreaser in the water to lower the alkalinity. Obviously, the pH levels will be lowered by this too. Just worry about getting the alkalinity to the proper level. After you do this, you can use a pH increaser to raise the pH level. This procedure may be difficult at first, so keep practicing until you get the hang of it.

You’ll want a consistently balanced pool because it helps the sanitizer do its job better.

Sanitation

Chlorine is the most popular sanitizer used for pools. If you don’t want to use chlorine, other types of sanitizers include bromine, biguanide, and minerals like copper and silver.

Chlorine

If you use chlorine, its level should be 3 ppm.

Chlorine is an effective and affordable way to kill algae and bacteria in the water. You can add chlorine to your pool water by using chlorine tablets, a salt chlorine generator, powdered chlorine, or chlorine granular. The salt chlorine generator can make chlorine from table salt.

Most people like to use chlorine tablets because they’re the easiest to apply to the water. You can purchase 1-inch or 3-inch tablets. Just add them to your pool’s skimmer basket, floating chlorine dispenser, or chlorinator.

Make sure the active ingredient of your chlorine product is either Dichloro or Trichloro. Since these are stabilized chlorine products, the sun’s UV rays won’t be able to diminish the chlorine as fast as it can when the chlorine is not stabilized. You’ll learn more about this later.

Bromine

The level of bromine in your water needs to be between 3 ppm and 5 ppm. Since it doesn’t have a chlorine smell, bromine is recommended for indoor swimming pools and hot tubs.

Bromine doesn’t eliminate algae as well as chlorine. Don’t use bromine on outdoor pools which have the sun shining down on them. Bromine will be destroyed by the sun quickly since it is not stabilized.

Biguanide

The level of biguanide should be between 30 ppm and 50 ppm. Biguanide is a good alternative to chlorine because it sanitizes pool water quite effectively. There will even be a newfound smoothness to the water too after you apply this chemical.

SoftSwim and Baquacil are just some of the sanitizers which shouldn’t be added in with regular pool chemicals. If you choose one of these sanitizer brands, then you must use their pool chemicals too, such as their algaecides and shocks. The chemical packages of these brands cost more than standard chlorine chemicals.

Minerals

The chlorine level should be 0.5 ppm. A mineral system introduces minerals like copper and silver to the pool water. Their function is to sanitize the water. However, it takes these minerals longer to clean the water than chlorine. Even so, you cannot replace chlorine with a mineral system. You must still use chlorine in conjunction with the mineral system. You don’t need to use much chlorine, but some may be necessary.

Pool Shock

Pool shocking means you’re putting chlorine in your swimming pool to kill the organic materials in the water, especially the bacteria. When a chlorine particle goes after bacteria like this, it is called combined chlorine. The chlorine particles eventually break apart in the water after they’re oxidized. You can oxidize the chlorine by adding potassium monopersulfate or extra amounts of chlorine. This will cause it to achieve breakpoint oxidation.

The best pool shock for this is calcium hypochlorite. Use this at least one time per week in your pool water.

Breakpoint Oxidation

You must have 10 ppm more chlorine than combined chlorine to achieve breakpoint oxidation.

There are two possible readings for chlorine. There is combined chlorine and free chlorine. When you have combined chlorine, it means the particles have killed bacteria already. When you have free chlorine, this is chlorine which is readily available to kill but hasn’t killed yet.

There is typically unstable chlorine in most pool shock products. As a result, the UV rays of the sun will destroy the cleaning formula quickly after it’s done its job. For this reason, wait until nighttime to shock your pool with these products. Keep the pool running for at least 8 hours during the course of the night. Your pool should be oxidized or shocked at a minimum of once each week.

Other Pool Chemicals to Consider

You can maintain a clean and sanitary pool if you use sanitizer, calcium, pH, and alkalinity. But there are other pool chemical options available too which may interest you.

Cyanuric Acid

Stabilized chlorine is what you usually add to pool water. But if you’re beginning with fresh water, then you need a water stabilizer like cyanuric acid to start with. This will ensure the UV rays of the sun don’t burn the chlorine away quickly. Cyanuric acid basically shields the chlorine from the UV rays.

Algaecide

Algaecide prevents algae. Some of these products are supposed to kill algae too, but it is better to use chlorine for your algae killing needs. Algaecide can be your backup whenever your water is low on chlorine. The algae can be contained with the algaecide while you work to increase the chlorine levels again.

Don’t use algaecide if your pool has too many algae. There are better solutions available for killing large amounts of algae in a swimming pool. They will also prevent them from returning.

Water Clarifier

When your pool gets cloudy from lots of tiny particles, a water clarifier works to combine those small particles into big particles. That way, the filter can block them better as they pass through it.

Flocculant

A flocculant, or floc, will also combine those tiny particles. However, the particles then sink to the floor of the pool. You need to manually vacuum the floor to remove the particles.

Metal Remover

If your water has iron, copper, and other metals, a metal remover can assist your filter in filtering them. This is also called a stain and scale remover too. If you don’t remove these metals, they can end up staining your pool’s walls.

Conclusion

To summarize, your pool chemicals need to be at these levels for your swimming pool to stay safe:

  • pH should be within 7.4 and 7.6
  • Alkalinity should be between 100 ppm and 150 ppm
  • Calcium hardness should be within 175 ppm and 225 ppm. If you have a plaster pool, it should be between 225 ppm and 275 ppm.
  • Salt water pools and chlorine pools need between 1 ppm and 3 ppm.
  • Bromine pools need between 3 ppm and 5 ppm.
  • Biguanide pools need between 30 ppm and 50 ppm.
  • Mineral system pools need the chlorine to be 0.5 ppm.

 

The water filtration and circulation of your pool must be consistent. Skim and vacuum your pool regularly too.

If you can remember to add chemicals, circulate the water, and clean the water, then you’re all set.

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How to Clear a Cloudy Pool

How to Fix Cloudy Pool Water

Your swimming pool water should always look clear. If you notice it looking cloudy or foggy, then it means you likely have bacteria, algae, or other organic invaders in the water. They can damage your circulation system if you don’t eliminate them quickly. Then you’ll end up paying hundreds of dollars in repair costs. Not only that, but you’re also risking the health of the swimmers in the water.

Therefore, investigate why your pool water is cloudy and then do something about it. The only way you can come up with a good solution is to first find out the cause.

Overnight Cloudiness

In most cases, a pool gradually becomes cloudy over time. There starts to be a little cloudiness and then it builds up slowly. It is easy for someone to just ignore a small amount of cloudiness. But when it becomes excessively cloudy in the water, then you definitely need to take it seriously.

However, sometimes you can get problems with your water which causes overnight cloudiness. How does this happen?

Well, it has to do with large pieces of debris interacting with the sanitizing chemicals in your pool water. When something like leaves falls into your pool, these chemicals try to dissolve it. The only problem is that sanitizers are not designed to eliminate big pieces of debris, especially solids. You need to use your filtration system to remove these solids, or you can manually remove them yourself. If you fail to remove the solids, they’ll eliminate the sanitizer in the water.

Solids in the water can come from humans too. People often put urine, sunscreen, sweat, and beauty formulas in the water, which then gets mixed around with the chlorine and depletes it. For this reason, you must keep adding sanitizer to the water to control this problem.

The UV rays of the sun will destroy the sanitizer fast. They separate the hypochlorite ions of the sanitizer which are produced after chlorine is added to the water. Once these ions evaporate, the level of sanitizer in the water decreases.

Finally, algae can compromise your chlorine too. You need large amounts of chlorine to combat your algae problem. In the meantime, you cannot swim in the water either until the algae are gone.

Be sure to add extra sanitizer to the water because the chlorine will have a lot to deal with already with the algae. However, the chlorine won’t be as effective in stopping bacteria and dangerous pathogens, particularly E. Coli. Therefore, don’t swim in a pool that is cloudy because the risk is too great.

The Circulatory System of the Pool

If there is poor circulation in your swimming pool, then it is likely the reason for the cloudiness in the water. Just maintain a strong circulation system to reduce this cloudiness. Keep your filtration system fully functional and running for a minimum of 8 hours per day. You shouldn’t see much debris in the pool water if you do this. The filtration system removes lots of different contaminants in conjunction with the sanitizer.

If you have an old circulation system in your pool, it can start to fail. Sometimes the chemicals that you put in the water can damage the system too. You’ll know when this is happening because the contaminants in the water won’t get filtered out anymore and it will appear cloudy.

Is This Important Knowledge for Me to Know?

No one is saying that you must be an expert in chemistry. But if you want to own a pool and keep it healthy and safe, you need to educate yourself in the basics of pool chemistry. That is the only way you will be successful in maintaining balanced pool water. Otherwise, a cloudy pool may be in your immediate future.

Water imbalance can cause other problems than just cloudiness. Your pool walls will become stained, and your pool’s components and accessories will become corroded and damaged. If you don’t believe this, then spend a few weeks not balancing the chemistry of your pool and see what happens. It will be cloudy and disgusting.

On the flip side, using excessive amounts of sanitizer, calcium hardness, pH, and alkalinity can also make your pool cloudy as well. So, you need to be careful not to overdo it.

Why is a Cloudy Pool Bad?

A cloudy pool is not just a cosmetic problem. It is a sign of something dangerous and unhealthy in your water that must be removed.

Bacteria

Chlorine kills bacteria in pool water and keeps it clear. If you don’t use enough sanitizer, then your pool will have more bacterial growth in the water. In addition, the filtration system will have more contaminants to block out.

Bacteria can survive for a long time in your pool when there is very little sanitizer. If you were to go swimming in this water, you could be exposed to Legionella, E. Coli, and other hazardous contaminants.

Bad Filtration

Swimming pools can have cloudy water if the pump is weak, the filter is clogged, or the filtration system is not running for a minimum of 8 hours per day. If the problem is that you haven’t run the filtration system for this long, debris can build in your filter despite the filtration system being functional. This can result in cloudy water.

Sanitizer depletes quickly under this circumstance. Plus, your water pump gets more stressed out as less water makes it through the filter because of the debris buildup. As a result, the circulation in your pool is very poor, and the water looks dirty and cloudy. The bacteria in the water can put people’s health in danger.

Results of Bad Water Chemistry

If your pool has high levels of pH, it means the water is not very acidic. Scales will form on the interior plumbing and pool surfaces. Meanwhile, the sanitizer and filtration system won’t work very well. Cloudiness and bacterial growth will soon follow.

If your pool has high levels of alkaline, scales will form on the water, and your pH levels will be unstable. If you have high alkalinity and pH levels, the vinyl material will suffer wear and tear. Lots of calcium causes flakiness in the water, causing clouds and clogged filters.

If your pool has high levels of chlorine, it can irritate your lungs and skin. People with respiratory issues like asthma may have trouble breathing too. Unstable chlorine levels cause an increase in chloramines, which is both corrosive and irritating.

Risky Swimming Conditions

Cloudiness is the least of your worries if you have algae in your pool water. Although the algae in your pool isn’t usually a health hazard, it can still make it dangerous for swimmers because the cloudiness blocks them from being seen if they go under the water. This means if someone is drowning in the pool or struggling underwater, no one will see it.

Drowning victims don’t actually cause a lot of commotion during their struggles to rise up to the surface of the water. This is known as Instinctive Drowning Response. Pets and little children are at the greatest risk of this.

Therefore, your pool should be off-limits to swimmers until the cloudiness is gone. Keep your pool secured so that animals and children cannot accidentally wander into the water. This is something you should do anyway even if the water is not cloudy.

Renovate Your Pool Water

If you’re ready to get your pool water looking shiny and vibrant again, it will simply require a little bit of work.

Deep Scrub and Clean

The first thing your pool needs is a thorough scrub. Use a heavy-duty skimmer to remove any big pieces of debris. A firm pool brush can be used to brush the walls off with. Finally, vacuum the pool.

Shock the Pool

Now that you’ve cleaned out the debris, you must shock the pool to eliminate the crud in the water. This means putting a high dose of chlorine in the water to kill the bacteria, algae, and all other organic invaders. The cloudiness should diminish after you do this. But if the cloudiness remains, you may need to perform two or three pool shocks to remove certain types of algae.

Filtering

Your pool filter should be on for at least 8 hours per day for the average residential pool. Make sure you deep clean the pool first and have the filter replaced. Once you do this, you can run the filtration system.

Bottom Drains

Your pool surface is where the primary skimmer is located. It won’t remove debris from the bottom of the pool. In fact, many pool vacuums won’t totally remove sediment from the bottom either. But if you activate the bottom drains which should be installed in your inground swimming pool, then all that sediment gets pulled into the filter.

If you have an above ground pool with no bottom drains, then place a manual pool vacuum in the middle of your pool on the bottom. Flip it over, and the vacuum head will suck in water from the bottom. Once the water is filtered, it will shoot out of the return jet.

Pool Chemistry Balance

After your water is cleaned, test the water to ensure its chemicals are balanced in it. To sustain the chlorine levels, use a chlorine stabilizer known as cyanuric acid.

Floc

If you only have a little cloudiness, you can use a pool flocculant. After you use it, the water’s suspended debris will fall to the floor of the pool. Then you’ll just need to vacuum it out of the bottom and balance the water accordingly.

Water Clarifier

Water clarifiers can help make swimming pools sustain their good looks. Basically, they gather up the small particles of debris in the water to make it simpler for the filter to block them. Water clarifiers won’t remove major contaminants, but they can help if you’re already shocking and cleaning your pool too.

Take Precautions Now

It is better to start clearing out your pool and keeping it clean now before it gets worse. Every week, you should be testing your water and balancing it out where necessary. You should be shocking skimming, rinsing the filter, and vacuuming the floors too. If you stay committed to your pool maintenance and perform it at the scheduled times, you should never see any more cloudiness in your pool water.

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Liquid Chlorine or Chlorine Granules What’s the difference?

Liquid Chlorine or Chlorine Granules

Swimming pool owners usually ponder over whether to purchase liquid chlorine or powder chlorine for their pool water. If you’re inexperienced at adding chlorine to pool water, then you probably don’t know which type of chlorine to purchase. To make matters worse, there is a lot of conflicting information being passed around about these two chlorine products. So, it is hard to know who’s telling the truth about them.

Basically, there are advantages and disadvantages to using each type of chlorine. But first, you need to consider the type of equipment you have and the limit on your budget. This is very important to do.

Overview of Chlorine

Most swimming pools are disinfected with a chemical called chlorine. This chemical is formulated to sanitize the pool water by killing the algae and bacteria in there. That way, the water can stay safe, clean, and crystal clear for people to swim in.

When salt water is put through electrolysis, it generates chlorine. When bacteria, algae, and other microorganisms are exposed to chlorine, their cellular walls are broken down and oxidized. However, due to the instability of chlorine, it diminishes over time and will eventually become ineffective. For this reason, chlorine needs to keep getting added into the pool regularly.

Chlorine needs to be handled carefully by a responsible person because it is rather hazardous to your health. Follow all the safety measures outlined on the packaging, such as wearing goggles and gloves while handling the chlorine.

Liquid Chlorine

To make liquid chlorine, you use caustic soda to bubble up the chlorine gas. It’ll have a roughly 13 pH level. Once you have the liquid chlorine made, you just pour it into your pool water. It is best used in huge commercial swimming pools or any pool which normally has a lot of people in it. Bulk amounts of liquid chlorine can be added to the pool water, which is why bigger pools are better for it. Some people even add drums containing 55 gallons of liquid chlorine to their pool.

On the other hand, for someone who has a small swimming pool in their backyard, the cost of maintaining the pH balance of the water may not be worth it. Even though liquid chlorine is rather cheap to purchase, it also increases the pH level of the water too. Then you’ll be forced to counteract this by purchasing chemicals which increase the acidity of the water. On top of that, the corrosive nature of liquid chlorine could potentially damage the bottom and/or the walls of your swimming pool.

Powder Chlorine

Most private residential swimming pool owners choose powder chlorine from their pool water. Even though it costs more than liquid chlorine, powder chlorine has a low pH level, and it is easier to add to the water. Therefore, you’ll actually save money in the long run because you won’t need to balance the pH levels in the water.

Powder chlorine is available in three types. They are as follows:
Dichlor Powder

The pH level is only about 7 or less. If acid needs to get added to the water, you won’t need to add too much. The powder dissolves quickly in the water, targeting contaminants right away. For every pound of dichlor powder, there is roughly 62% of real chlorine. This is a stable product which makes for a great shock treatment. However, it is one of the most expensive products too.

Lithium Hypochlorite Powder

Every pound of this powder only has around 35% of actual chlorine. It has a higher pH level of around 11 too. For this reason, you’ll need to add a larger amount of acid to your swimming pool in order to balance the pH levels. On the upside, the powder dissolves even faster than the dichlor powder. If you have a vinyl pool, then you won’t need to worry about the bleaching effect of the powder as much.

Calcium Hypochlorite Powder

This is both a cost-effective and popular type of chlorine powder. It has a 12-pH level and is comprised of roughly 65% of actual chlorine. So, you’ll need to add more acid to the water for balancing purposes. Despite its cheaper price, it is not too safe compared to lithium because its fumes are dangerous to inhale.

Conclusion

Your budget and the way you’ll use the chlorine will determine which type you purchase. If you have a large swimming pool or any pool that is regularly used by a lot of people, then choose the liquid chlorine. If you have a smaller pool in a residential backyard, then it is more cost-effective to choose powder chlorine.

After you purchase the appropriate chlorine product, read the instructions carefully prior to adding the chlorine to the water. Make sure your chlorine product is compatible with your equipment and pool in order to avoid damaging them.

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How to Reduce Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in a Swimming Pool

Cyanuric Acid (Chlorine Stabilizer)

Swimming pools require lots of different chemicals in order to stay safe and sanitary for swimmers. There is a separate chemical for everything the water needs, such as sanitizing, balancing, stopping algae, media content management, and more. The chemicals you use also depend on the type of pool you have and the location it is in.

You can’t just depend on one chemical, though. There are “assistant chemicals’ which may need to get added in conjunction with the primary chemical. For instance, one common pool stabilizing chemical is cyanuric acid. The job of this chemical is to stabilize your pool water’s chlorine sanitizer. That way, the chlorine will be able to clean the water for a longer time.

Cyanuric Acid

So, what is cyanuric acid, and how does it work? It helps if you understand more about the chemicals that you’re pouring into your pool water. Then you can appreciate the chemistry behind them.

Cyanuric acid is a triazine, which is a chemical compound that features 3 carbon atoms and 3 nitrogen atoms. Some examples of triazines include disinfectants, polyurethane resins, and herbicides. Well, cyanuric acid is the primary chemical ingredient used to make these solutions.

Cyanuric acid is often called CYA, and it is used as a stabilizer for chlorine and pool water, or as a pool conditioner. You can purchase CYA as granules or liquid. Some CYA products even contain chlorine shocks and chlorine tablets mixed in.

Combo formulas like these are called stabilized chlorine since the stabilizer and sanitizer are mixed together. This means you don’t need to measure each solution and add them into the pool water individually.

Is Cyanuric Acid Worth Purchasing?

CYA can help your pool water tremendously. First, you must realize how badly the sun can impact the chlorine in the water. There are three chlorine types in your pool; combined chlorine, total chlorine, and free chlorine.

Free chlorine refers to the level of sanitizer present in order to clean the water. When chlorine is added straight into your pool water, you’ll have the most sanitizer present. It is also there when you use a salt-water chlorinator to create the chlorine. Either way, you must have chlorine in your water for sanitary purposes. Don’t swim in pool water without it in there.

Combined chlorine refers to the level of sanitizer depleted due to killing organisms like bacteria in the water.

Total chlorine is basically the amount of combined chlorine and free chlorine in the water. Just add these two amounts together to get the total chlorine.

As soon as chlorine is poured into the water of your pool, it turns into ions called sodium hypochlorite. When the sun’s UV rays shine down on these ions, it causes them to split up from each other. The chlorine will then evaporate, causing hardly any free chlorine to be left in your pool water. To give you an idea of how quickly this happens, it only takes 17 minutes for 50% of the free chlorine to disappear from the water after the ions are exposed to UV rays.

CYA kills contaminants much faster than chlorine. To give you some perspective on this, it would take 8 times as much chlorine to destroy the equivalent of what CYA can destroy. Because of this, you can save money by adding less CYA to the water and still get the same results.

CYA will prolong the life of your sanitizer. Meanwhile, you won’t need to spend endless amounts of money on chlorine for your pool.

How Cyanuric Acid Functions?

If there are low levels of CYA in your pool, then it demands more chlorine. This signifies that UV rays from the sun have quickly destroyed the chlorine, so your pool needs more of it. Otherwise, contaminants could easily infect the water and cause trouble for swimmers.

Rather than continuously adding chlorine to the water every hour, you should just add cyanuric acid periodically. After the chlorine is converted into the sodium hypochlorite ions, pour the CYA into the water so it can bind to them. As a result, UV rays won’t cause the ions to break apart. Then free chlorine will be preserved, and bacteria will stay destroyed up to 5 times longer than if CYA was not added.

You’ll want this extra time because the chlorine is hindered by the sodium hypochlorite ions and CYA bonding together. At the same time, the chlorine is stabilized by the CYA.

Disadvantages of Cyanuric Acid

The ability of chlorine to sanitize water is referred to as oxidation-reduction potential or ORP. Millivolts is the unit of measurement for this figure, which reveals the effectiveness of the free chlorine. CYA lowers the ORP of chlorine, no matter the amount that you pour into your pool water.

If excessive amounts of CYA are added to the water, then the chlorine won’t be as effective. This means you would have wasted money purchasing these two chemicals. Not only that, but your pool will still remain dirty.

You’ll want your chlorine to quickly destroy contaminants in the water, so swimmers can stay safe. But the chlorine needs to stay in the water consistently. Therefore, you need to create a healthy balance of CYA and free chlorine in the water.

To boost the level of CYA, just add some more of it to the water. After an adequate amount of CYA has been added, there won’t be any need to add more on a regular basis. CYA tends to stay in the water consistently as time goes on.

The only way CYA levels in the water can lower is by dilution, like from a rainstorm. That is why you should test the CYA levels regularly.

The Right Levels of Cyanuric Acid

According to the World Health Organization, your swimming pool should have a CYA limit of 100 ppm (parts per million). This number was established because they assumed that kids swimming in the water will accidentally swallow some of it. Ingesting excessive amounts of CYA could result in sickness.

For this reason, it is better to keep the limit at about 50 ppm. Higher concentrations of CYA can make the water less safe because it will prevent chlorine from destroying bacteria and algae. So, word of caution, you can’t protect the chlorine from UV rays by adding lots of CYA to the water. It’ll just make it worse.

Once the CYA level is higher than 50 ppm, then algae will likely grow in the water. Furthermore, it will be difficult to balance the chemicals of the water. The sanitization won’t be as effective, resulting in much cloudier pool water.

If the CYA level goes over 100 ppm, the test strip will fail to give you an accurate reading. You’ll have to take a sample of the pool water and go to a pool supply store to have a professional test it out. Based on the results, you can reduce the CYA level accordingly.

The Way to Reduce Your Cyanuric Acid Levels

Once your pool water has been tested, you’ll need to lower the CYA levels if the results showed they were too high.

Are you using a stabilized chlorine in the water? If so, this product has CYA quantities in it. Check the label for the list of chemicals of the stabilized chlorine product. If it contains potassium dichloroisocyanurate, sodium dichloroisocyanurate, and trichloroisocyanurate, then CYA exists in the formula.

If this issue is discovered in your chlorine, then choose new chlorine to use that doesn’t have CYA in it. This will stop the CYA levels from increasing again in the water.

Although, CYA must still be reduced periodically to sustain the effectiveness of the chlorine. If you have slightly high CYA levels, you can lower them by diluting the water of the pool. Simply splash around in the water to reduce the water level and then add more fresh water back into the pool.

If you have severely high CYA levels, then draining the pool and refilling it back up may be your only solution. Remember that CYA can get stuck in your filter so you may need to backwash the filter if you have a lot of CYA in your water.

CYA also exists in calcium scale and pool plaster too. If you refill your pool and still have high levels of CYA, then it means you have CYA remaining in it.

Cryptosporidium Overview

If you have cryptosporidium contaminating your swimming pool, then you must reduce your CYA levels.

Cryptosporidium, also known as crypto, is a type of parasite which can cause someone gastrointestinal illness and/or respiratory illness. If feces were to get into your pool water, then this parasite will follow. You’ll see this type of contamination often in public swimming pools and any public water areas where babies and smaller children go.

Normal levels of chlorine cannot destroy crypto. Once contamination is present, it must be dealt with immediately. The most effective way to destroy crypto is to reduce your levels of CYA to under 15 ppm. After that, your water needs to be hyperchlorinated. Replace your filter rather than backwash it. This prevents crypto from ending up in your water again.

Watch the Levels

You must frequently measure the level of chemicals in your pool water. Otherwise, you wouldn’t know if the water is balanced or not. You must understand pool chemistry to do this right. You also need to schedule times to perform pool maintenance tasks. Stick to this schedule religiously.

Each week you can test the chemistry of the water with test strips. This is a cheap and simple method for testing the water. You can check the levels of free chlorine, pH, and cyanuric acid levels. If you want a better test, then take a water sample and have a professional test it out at a pool supply store. A liquid test kit can also be used too.

It is a good idea to test your water on a weekly basis, if not more. If the water chemistry stays balanced without much rain falling into it, then your CYA levels should stay consistently the same.

Preferably, you’ll want free chlorine that is at least 2 ppm but at the most 8 ppm. When utilizing CYA, you’ll want your levels of free chlorine to be about 7.5% of your current CYA level. For instance, if your swimming pool water has 50 ppm of CYA, then the free chlorine should be anywhere from 3 ppm to 4 ppm. This will ensure the water is cleaned effectively so that algae don’t grow there.

The Way to Add CYA to Your Swimming Pool

When using a stabilized chlorine, such as trichlor or dichlor, it may not be necessary to pour more CYA into the water because CYA may already exist in the sanitizing formula. Try adding stabilized chlorine to the pool water and then test the CYA levels. If these levels are increasing slowly over time, then you’ll have to lower the CYA levels. The best way to avoid this problem is to use non-stabilized chlorine and then separately add CYA to it. You’ll only need to add CYA about 1 or 2 times annually in this scenario.

Remember that CYA is a type of acid, which is something that can damage your pool and/or filter. Pools with vinyl liner are the most vulnerable to this acid. The labels of CYA products may tell you to pour the CYA right into the filter or pool water. Do not listen to these instructions. There is a much safer way to go about this.

Gather warm water, gloves resistant to chemicals, safety goggles, and a five-gallon bucket.

Here is how to add the CYA chemical to your swimming pool:

  1. Pour warm water into the bucket so that it is at least 50% of the way filled.
  2. Start wearing your gloves and goggles.
  3. Pour a little bit of CYA into the bucket. If you want 50 ppm, check the instructions of the product in according with your pool size. Usually, if you want CYA to rise to 10 ppm in a pool that is 10,000 gallons in size, then it’ll take 4.1 pounds of CYA to be added to the pool water.
  4. Let the CYA chemical dissolve in the water. You may need to wait anywhere from 10 minutes to a couple of hours. It all depends on the amount of CYA you added. Don’t worry about waiting for hours because the acid won’t damage the surface of your pool as it remains there.
  5. After the CYA is totally dissolved, start pouring the liquid from the bucket into the water of your pool.
  6. Turn on the pool pump. Keep it running for a couple of hours at least. This gives the pool water a chance to circulate.
  7. Maintain moderate CYA levels in your pool water to keep it sanitized properly. Try to protect the water from the sun’s nasty UV rays.
  8. Maintaining chemistry in your pool water takes effort, but it’s worth it in the end. It’ll keep your pool healthy and all the swimmers healthy too.
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How to Convert to a Salt Water Hot Tub

Hot Tub To Salt Water

 Sodium chloride is the basis of salt. There are a lot of myths about saltwater hot tubs. Some people believe that putting pink Himalayan salts in the hot tub water will eliminate toxins from anyone who goes in it. Other people simply want to avoid putting chemicals in their hot tub water, so they use salts as an alternative. After all, using salts in a hot tub requires you to do a lot less maintenance work.

As far as toxin extraction goes, there is no proof that saltwater hot tubs can do this. However, the salts that go into hot tub water are more affordable than purchasing chlorine and spa sanitizer. You also won’t need to do much maintenance, either. Best of all, soaking in hot salt water does feel quite soothing.

The purpose of putting salt in hot tub water is to keep the water clean without using bromine, chlorine, or other chemical-based sanitizers. A saltwater chlorinator is used to turn salt into chlorine, which then cleans the water. Therefore, you won’t actually be relaxing in hot salt water once you try it out.

Salt Quantity

The pool pump and filter work together. You can’t have one without the other because the pump pushes the water through the filter. Also, the size of the pump must accommodate your pool. Don’t choose a filter until you choose the right pump size.

Salt to Chlorine Conversion

You need a saltwater chlorinator, which is the same thing as a bromine generator or chlorine generator. Inside of the chlorinator, there is a chlorinator cell which consists of electrodes and titanium plates. You’re supposed to place the chlorinator into the saltwater of the hot tub. The chlorinator cell in the device will produce a very small amount of electricity.

Don’t worry because it isn’t enough electricity to cause people any harm. But it is enough electricity to convert the salt solution of the water into chlorine, which is a process known as electrolysis. During this process, chlorine is extracted from the sodium element of the salt.

Technically, you can use table salt in your hot tub, and it should work just the same. But it is recommended that you purchase the special canisters of hot tub salt that are sold in stores. The label on the product will read “Pool Salt” or something like that. Even though it is the same chemical as table salt, the difference is in how it’s ground. Hot tub salt is ground more coarsely to accommodate the chlorinator device. If you purchase the salt in bulk amounts, you can save plenty of money.

Advantages of a Salt Water Hot Tub

Choosing to use salt for your hot tub instead of traditional sanitizers has a lot of advantages. There is no magic cleansing that takes place, but it makes the hot tub experience a lot more relaxing and soothing.

Gentler on the Skin

Chlorine sanitizing products contain chloramines. That is why chemical-based chlorine causes people to have trouble breathing and to feel like their eyes are burning. Fortunately, you won’t have this experience in a saltwater hot tub. The chlorinator only produces tiny bits of chlorine for the water. Not only does this balance the sanitizing effect, but it reduces the chloramines considerably. Saltwater is also much softer and gentler on the skin, eyes, and hair. You can’t go wrong here.

Reduced Maintenance

Saltwater hot tubs produce their own sanitizer a little bit each day. Because of this, you won’t need to do much water balancing or adjusting.

Less Expensive

It is cheaper to purchase salt bags than it is to purchase liquid chlorine jugs. You can also handle salt bags much more easily. Once you give your hot tub water its first salt dosage, the salinity will remain steady as long as rainwater does not dilute it. For this reason, you can save money by not having to purchase salt regularly. If you were using chlorine, you’d have to purchase it all the time to keep up with the salinity.

However, salt water should still be tested regularly with pH test strips. You’ll want to make sure there is a balance of pH and alkalinity. In addition, you must conduct salinity tests with saltwater test strips.

Common Myths About Salt Water Hot Tubs

There are a lot of myths about saltwater hot tubs which exist. Let’s debunk these myths now.

No Maintenance is Needed

Regardless of which sanitizing method you use in your hot tub, maintenance will always be needed to some extent. There is no magic hot tub solution where you can just leave it alone, and it takes care of itself. Every 1 to 3 years, you must replace the chlorinator cells. In the meantime, the cells must be regularly soaked and cleaned in muriatic acid. Double-check with the manufacturer to make sure this is how you’re supposed to clean them.

No Chemicals in the Tub

Now, it is true that saltwater hot tubs don’t require you to purchase gallons of sanitizing chemicals. But this doesn’t mean that saltwater hot tubs don’t have chemicals in them. Since the salt is converted to chlorine, this becomes the chemical in the water. From there, you must balance the water chemistry by adding pH decreasing solutions and pH increasing solutions as needed.

No Corrosion

Even though the salinity level is low, the saltwater of the hot tub may cause the metal components to corrode. It all depends on which heating element exists in the hot tub because not all of them support salt in the water. The best heating element to have is a titanium-coated element.

You can prevent corrosion by keeping the salinity level low and regularly clean the metal components which are exposed to the water.

Choose a Salt Water Chlorinator

There are different kinds of saltwater chlorinators on the market. The choice you must make is between an in-line chlorinator and a drop-in chlorinator. Electrolysis is used in both types of chlorinators to convert salt to chlorine. But there are some differences worth mentioning.

Drop-In Chlorinators

A drop-in chlorinator is the easiest and simplest method for converting salt to chlorine in your hot tub water. No special modifications to your tub are necessary for the installation. It should only take you a few minutes to set up everything.

The chlorinator cell does have a thin cord attached to it which hangs down from the side. This is not a huge deal, but it can be annoying.

In-line Chlorinators

To avoid the chlorinator line issue of the drop-in chlorinator, choose the in-line chlorinator instead. This particular chlorinator is integrated into the plumbing of the hot tub so that no line is hanging down from the side of it. The chlorinator actually merges with the circulation system of your tub.

Of course, you’re going to need a licensed plumber to perform this installation. Read the manufacturer’s warranty of your hot tub because in-line chlorinators may void the warranty.

The Conversion Process

Converting salt to chlorine is really easy. The hardest part is the preparation that goes into the conversion. But once you get through that, the rest is simple.

Here we will discuss how a drop-in chlorinator is installed. For anyone with an in-line chlorinator, either hire a plumbing professional or follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Drain the Water and Clean the Tub

The only way to switch between sanitizers is to remove all the water which has the original sanitizer in it. You’ll want the biofilm to be cleared out beforehand, so the line flush should be used first. Then drain the water with a sump pump or hose. Once the water is gone, use a smooth scrub sponge to clean the shell of the tub with diluted vinegar or a hot tub cleaning solution. Rinse the shell thoroughly.

Also, check the filter and wash it out too. If the filter is in bad shape, then replace it.

Refill

You need to refill your hot tub with filtered water. Simply connect a hose filter to any standard garden hose and let it run water inside your tub.

Conduct a Salinity Test / Add Salt

Conduct a salinity test on the fresh tap water because there may be some salt already in it. That way, you don’t end up adding more salt on top of the salt that’s already in the water. The instructions of the product will tell you what your salinity level should be at.

Water Chemistry Test

You need to test the levels of calcium hardness, pH, and alkalinity of the water by using standard hot tub test strips. Refer to the chlorinator manual to see which levels these elements should be at.

Mount the Control Panel

Your chlorinator kit should come with its own control panel as well as the necessary hardware needed to mount it properly. The control panel goes on one side of your tub. The power supply cable must be able to reach the ground-fault circuit interrupter outlet.

Connect the Cables

The chlorinator cell cord and power supply cable must be connected to the tub. Don’t connect the power cord yet, though.

Insert the Chlorinator in the Water

The power supply cable gets draped over the side of the tub. Insert the chlorinator into the deepest area of the water. Make sure it is as low as it can go because it’ll allow the sanitizer to spread more evenly in the water.

Plug in the Power Cord

The power supply cord gets plugged into the GFCI outlet.

Turn on the Chlorinator

You can now turn on your chlorinator. The manufacturer’s instructions will teach you how to program the chlorinator settings.

That’s it! Enjoy the tub!

Don’t Use Alternative Salts

You might think that table salt is like any other salt, and basically, it is. But you don’t want to risk adding other contaminants to your hot tub water. A lot of table salt, Epsom salt, and rock salt carry heavy metals or other impurities. Once these elements get into your hot tub, the water chemistry gets messed up. They could even cause damage to your hot tub and void any warranty that you may have.

Therefore, only use the hot tub salt that is sold in stores.

Conclusion

If you’ve never soaked in a saltwater hot tub before, your first time will feel incredible. The water will feel so soft on your hair and skin. Not only that, but you won’t need to add sanitizer as often as you did before. Overall, you’ll be spending very little money on hot tub supplies.

Why not give saltwater a try? If you do not like the outcome for whatever reason, you can simply switch back to chlorine. Most people do love the outcome after converting to saltwater, and we know you will too.

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83434376

How To Lower The Alkalinity In Your Pool

Muriatic Acid to Lower Your Pool Alkalinity

You can balance the alkalinity level of your swimming pool without spending a lot of money on chemical additives. All you need is some good quality muriatic acid. But you don’t simply pour the acid into the water and call it a day. That’ll cause problems for you.

A high alkalinity level in the water could end up damaging your pool and its circulation system. Once the pH level rises, the water chemistry becomes all messed up. You can affordably reduce the alkalinity of your pool by using muriatic acid. This requires patience, a bucket, and the ability to follow simple safety instructions.

What is Muriatic Acid?

Muriatic acid is traditionally used in the field of masonry. Since masonry surfaces are naturally alkaline, muriatic acid can reduce the pH level on these surfaces and keep them cleaner. That way, paint can stick to it better.

The human stomach naturally produces muriatic acid to increase the pH level in the gut. This will eliminate microorganisms that cause you to get sick and assist with the digestion process.

In a swimming pool, the muriatic acid can reduce the pH and alkalinity levels in order to balance the chemistry of the water. The muriatic acid formulated for swimming pools generally has a lower hydrogen chloride concentration than what you’d find in masonry-supported muriatic acid products.

All chemicals have a functioning agent, just like all medicine has an active ingredient. You just need to make sure the proper concentration of the agent is in your chemicals because that is how you’ll balance the chemistry of your water in an easier, safer way.

Pools with cartridge filters probably came with muriatic acid already. It is used to provide a deep cleaning to the filters by eliminating the slimy residue that tends to accumulate on them. If you have muriatic acid for filter cleaning purposes, then you can also use it for reducing the alkalinity in your pool water too.

Alkalinity

Understanding pool chemistry tends to be rather difficult for many people. Experienced pool owners can even make mistakes when treating their pool water.

One thing you should remember is that alkalinity levels will eventually decrease by themselves. However, you can’t leave high levels of alkalinity in your water for very long because algae will start to grow quickly. That is why you must reduce your alkalinity levels with the appropriate chemicals.

High pH levels mean low acidity, causing the water to become softer and accumulate calcium. The water will appear flaky and scaly too. As a result of these conditions, the filter and circulation system of your pool will get clogged. Then you’ll have more to clean out of the water with your sanitizing chemicals. This will prompt you to add more chlorine to combat the problem. Then the pH levels and alkalinity will rise.

When the pH is high, the calcium in the water turns harder. The natural unstableness of pH requires more alkalinity to slow it down. When you use chemicals to reduce pH, you’ll also reduce the alkalinity too. But the pH will lower more when you lower the alkalinity. So, it is best to reduce the pH to about under 7 ppm (parts per million). Make sure you alter the pH levels in smaller stages by conducting daily testing and adding more chemicals if needed. You should get the alkalinity levels back on the proper path if you do this.

Having balanced alkalinity ensures your pH levels are good for your pool. It also assists the sanitizer in stopping contaminants from spreading throughout your pool.

High Alkalinity with Low pH

Even though alkalinity and pH get reduced together, the pH lowers much faster than alkalinity. This could result in high alkalinity and low pH in your pool water. Excessive amounts of cyanuric acid getting added to the water will cause this to happen.

Outdoor pools require chlorine stabilizers, but they must be used properly or else the water chemistry will suffer an imbalance. Every chemical you put in your pool will have an effect on the pH and alkalinity levels but at different rates. Any attempt to adjust these levels will still cause one to be higher than the other.

Reducing Alkalinity in the Pool

Virtually every pool supply shop sells a “pH Decreaser” product. The main functioning ingredient of the product is sodium bisulphate. It is formulated to reduce pH and alkalinity levels. Although muriatic acid is a good alternative to this because it is already available with your filters. But even if you have to purchase muriatic acid, it is much more inexpensive than purchasing a pH Decreaser. You just need to apply the muriatic acid properly to the water in order to reduce the alkalinity.

Safety is Most Important

Muriatic acid must be handled carefully because if it gets on your skin, it’ll burn it within seconds. And if you inhale the vapor of the muriatic acid, it could negatively affect your respiratory health. Purchase the proper accessories to stay protected as you use the acid.

Water Testing

Don’t add any chemicals until you have tested the alkalinity and pH levels of your pool. Test strips are commonly used for this, but you can get a more accurate reading from digital test kits.

No matter what the reading shows, muriatic acid must be applied in stages when reducing the alkalinity in the pool water. That will take a lot of time, though.

Determine the Acid Quantity Needed

Find out the water gallon capacity and the alkalinity level and pH level of your swimming pool. When reducing these levels, calculate the amount of muriatic acid needed to lower your pH level just under the ideal amount. If you do this, your alkalinity level should be normal. After that, use the pump to aerate the water and slowly increase the pH level.

The muriatic acid product label should indicate the amount of acid to add to the pool. If for some reason the label doesn’t tell you this, then use an online calculator to do the calculations yourself.

Deactivating the Pump

If you’re trying to stabilize your pH level while greatly reducing your alkalinity, then deactivate the pump prior to applying muriatic acid to the water. After the pump is activated, the chemicals in the water will circulate and mix together. In addition, oxygen gets added by the bubbles shot into the water.

As more oxygen enters the water, the muriatic acid becomes more effective on the pH. To greatly reduce the alkalinity, deactivate the pump to slow down the movement of water.

Muriatic Acid Addition

When you want to add muriatic acid to the pool water, it is better if you don’t just pour the acid directly into the water from the canister. Instead, dilute the muriatic acid in tap water so that it is less hazardous and simpler to handle. It only takes a bucket and a couple of extra minutes.

The best water-to-muriatic acid ratio is 10-to-1. After you add the proper quantity of muriatic acid to the water, use a stir stick to mix it all around. The stick can be made of wood or plastic.

Make sure water is added to the bucket before you do this. Adding the muriatic acid first will cause a dangerous chemical reaction. So, it goes water first and then muriatic acid second.

Go to the deepest end of the swimming pool and pour the mixture from the bucket into it. If your pool already has a high pH level, then gradually walk around the perimeter of the pool and gently pour the mixture into it. The water will be exposed to more air while the chemicals are able to circulate.

Make sure the bucket is rinsed thoroughly of all muriatic acid remnants once you’re done. No other chemicals should be used in the bucket or else an explosion might occur.

Let the Acid Do Its Business

There are two ways in which you can approach this. First, you can take the safest approach of turning on your pool pump and allowing the muriatic acid to circulate in the pool water for a minimum of 30 minutes. That will stop the muriatic acid from falling to the bottom surface and damaging it.

Alternatively, you can just let the muriatic acid work its magic on the alkalinity without turning on the pump. Professionals call this approach “pooling.” This is not always the best approach, though, because the muriatic acid is strong enough to damage the pool floor if it settles there. To prevent this from happening, the pool floor must regularly be brushed.

Of course, these approaches to reducing alkalinity while not affecting pH are merely opinions. One thing that is true is muriatic acid can damage pool surfaces. To make sure this doesn’t happen, activate the pump for 30 minutes as soon as you add the muriatic acid to the water.

Aeration

To increase the pH a little bit, keep the pump running to add air to the water. This will help reduce the chances of increasing the alkalinity as you use chemicals to increase the pH level.

The best approach to aeration is positioning the return jets toward the top and turning the pump on full blast. All other water features must be turned on too. Alternatively, a fountain or aerator device can do the same thing.

Test the Water Again

After muriatic acid is added to your pool water, conduct another test of the water chemistry. If the alkalinity is still too high, add a little more muriatic acid. If the pH level is reduced while the alkalinity level is just fine, then aeration can continue.

The next day, test the pH level again to see if it is higher. If it is not, then use a little pH increaser chemical on the water.

Repeat the Process

You will basically repeat this process numerous times to reduce the alkalinity level to where it needs to be. Just keep testing the water, adding muriatic acid gradually in small amounts, and repeating again. If you have trouble achieving the right levels of alkalinity and pH, take a sample of your pool water and bring it to your local pool store and have them test it out. Perhaps the accuracy of your tests is off.

Balance is the Key

Balancing the water chemistry of your pool on a regular basis can prevent algae, corrosion, staining, stomach bugs, and other water-based illnesses. Keep checking the water and using more sanitizer, especially if lots of people have been using the water.

If you can keep your water chemistry managed properly, you won’t need to alter the alkalinity levels so much. But if you’ve let the chemistry become imbalanced, just add some muriatic acid to help get it back to the right level.

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464180299-min

Chlorine Tablets for Your Swimming Pool

Chlorine Tablets for Pools

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with owning a pool. One of which is cleaning the water regularly of contaminants, algae, leaves, debris, bugs, and other nasty things. This can be a learning process if you’ve never done it before. Skimming the water of its bugs and leaves requires the right tools and techniques. The same goes for eliminating algae and other microorganisms.

If you want to make the greatest impact on the sanitization of your pool water, then you need to pay attention to the water chemistry. The fastest and easiest way to sanitize the water is to add chlorine tablets to it. This is a chemical which every pool needs to stay clean.

The Benefit of Chlorine Tablets

Why use chlorine tablets instead of regular chlorine? For one thing, it is easy to administer the chlorine tablets into your pool water. The chlorine from the tablets does not get dispersed all at once. Instead, it is gradually dispersed and spread more evenly throughout the water. That is a benefit you won’t find with chlorine granules.

The Importance of Putting Chlorine in Pool Water

Chlorine is highly effective at sanitizing pool water, and it doesn’t cost that much money either. Chlorine can eliminate bacteria, viruses, algae, and other microorganisms in order to keep all the swimmers safe.

The Proper Amount of Chlorine to Add

The average swimming pool should have a chlorine concentration of between 1 ppm (part per million) and 3 ppm. This is the safest way to kill microorganisms in your pool without irritating the human swimmers at the same time. After all, excessive amounts of chlorine could contribute to certain symptoms like throat irritation, eye irritation, and even lung irritation.

To determine if the proper amount of sanitizer is in your pool water, you must conduct tests on the water using test kits or test strips. These testing products will not only tell you how much chlorine is in the water, but also how much of other chemicals are in the water too. Based on the results, you can adjust the water chemistry appropriately.

Selecting the Best Chlorine Tablets

Chlorine tablets are available in different sizes, 3 inches or 1-inch. The best choice is the 3-inch chlorine tablets because they’re bigger, popular, and sometimes even cheaper than the smaller sized tablets. One 3-inch chlorine tablet is powerful enough to clean 5,000 gallons of pool water. You could actually save more money by using fewer tablets.

First, do you know the volume of your swimming pool? If not, check with the pool manufacturer or installer to get this information. There are pool calculators on the internet that you can use as well.

Once you figured out the volume, you will know how many chlorine tablets to add. Always round the water capacity upwards to the next 5,000 gallons. For instance, if your pool has a water capacity of 17,000 gallons, then you would use four 3-inch chlorine tablets. But if it has a capacity of 15,000 gallons, you would only use three 3-inch chlorine tablets.

The Top 3 Methods for Adding Chlorine Tablets to Pool Water

Chlorine granules are easy to administer to the water because they’re just added directly. You may think that you can do the same thing with chlorine tablets. However, it is not a good idea. There are some better options for adding chlorine tablets to pool water. They are as follows:

Floating Chlorine Dispenser

Chlorine tablets are placed inside of the floating chlorine dispenser. The dispenser is placed in the pool water and gradually disperses chlorine out. Not a lot of maintenance is involved, making this a convenient way to clean your pool water.

Automatic Chlorinator

The Automatic Chlorinator is perhaps the best choice here. You can manage the chlorination levels of the pool water quite well without much effort. Just put the tablets in the chlorinator, select a chlorine level of between 1 and 3 ppm, and use chlorine test strips to verify the chlorine level. As you get more experienced, you’ll know which settings are the best for your pool.

Just make sure the pool water passes through the Automatic Chlorinator right before going back into the pool area. This will ensure the water stays chlorinated and clean.

Chlorine Granules

Chlorine granules are basically crushed tablets which are tiny enough to sprinkle into the water. Only use this method if you must clean smaller, localized areas of your pool water. It will take a lot of time to administer granules to every area of your pool because it would all have to be done by hand. That is why an automatic chlorinator is recommended as a more efficient and time-saving alternative.

As you can see, it is not too difficult to administer chlorine tablets to pool water. The method that you choose depends on you and the amount of time and money you want to devote to this task.

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139894231-min

How to Get Rid of Algae in Your Pool

How to Get Rid of Green Algae in a Swimming Pool

Mustard algae might sound like something you put on a hot dog, but it is actually a common type of algae found in swimming pools. It is sometimes called yellow algae because of its yellow color. If you don’t maintain the cleanliness of your pool, then don’t be surprised if you start seeing this algae form.

Although mustard algae are rather rare, it can still show up in certain circumstances. Fortunately, it is easy to eliminate mustard algae and keep it away by following a couple of simple steps.

Overview of Mustard Algae

You probably already know about slimy green algae and how it sticks to pool walls and forms flat blobs in the water. Mustard algae are a little different, though. People tend to confuse mustard algae with pool stains, sand or dirt. The algae belong to the “xanthophytes” family of microbes. They’re resistant to chlorine, so you can’t get rid of them with standard sanitizing chemicals.

Mustard algae will stick onto any surfaces or items in your pool, such as the walls. But it can’t live anywhere else but in your pool. You’ll find the algae on your pool toys, equipment, floats, and sometimes on the bathing suits of the swimmers. If you notice any mustard algae around, apply disinfectant to the algae prone areas right away.

The 5 Steps for Killing Mustard Algae

Don’t let mustard algae keep you down and depressed. Here are ten easy steps to kill mustard algae in order to keep your pool sanitized.

Clean the Filter

The purpose of a pool cartridge filter is to clean your pool water by capturing debris and decontaminates.

Shock Treatment

One pool shock treatment won’t be enough to get rid of mustard algae in the water. Therefore, it is recommended that you use 3 lbs. of shock to clean 10,000 gallons of water. Do it when the sun goes down. Turn on your pump and filtration system. Leave them on for the next 24 hours. The algae should be gone by then.

Vacuuming and Brushing Run FilterFor 24 Hours

Before you start sanitizing your pool water again, it helps to get rid of the existing mustard algae first. You can do this with a high-quality algae brush which is designed to loosen all the algae, so they’re not so clingy. Once you do this, you can easily suck up the algae with a manual vacuum. Since mustard algae may inhabit your filtration system, turn the filter’s setting on “waste” instead of “backwash” prior to turning on the vacuum.

After you’ve vacuumed the algae out of the pool, put the garden hose in your pool and add more freshwater to it. The vacuum sucked up water before, so you’re just replenishing what was lost.

Brush and Balance Again Next Day

Brush your pool walls again to ensure that no mustard algae is clinging to them. Test your chlorine levels and add more if needed. Also, test your level of alkalinity and pH regularly and make the proper adjustments to them too.

Test the Water to Make Sure There is No Algae

Do one more water chemistry test to ensure there are no algae. If the reading shows the water is balanced and everything looks clear in the water, then your mustard algae problem has been resolved.

Any pool equipment or accessories that you put in the pool during this process can be removed.

Prevention

Now the only thing left to worry about is preventing the mustard algae from returning again. If you keep your water chemistry balanced, then everything should be fine. This means balancing the sanitizer, pH, and alkalinity levels regularly.

Leave the filtration system and pump running for between 8 and 12 hours per day throughout the entire season. Brush and vacuum your pool if you notice any signs of algae.

Shock treatments should be made once per week. Use 1 lb. of shock per 10,000 gallons of water. Clean all the pool items, equipment, and accessories, such as solar blankets, slides, diving boards, steps, ladders, floats, and toys. Use the cleaning solution with chlorine in it to do this. This will ensure the algae is killed.

The only mustard you need to worry about now is the kind that goes on your hot dogs and hamburgers. All other mustard, especially in your pool, has got to go.

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