Why Total Alkalinity Is The Most Important Chemical In Pool Water

pool water

Unfortunately for homeowners and even some pool techs., when they think about their pool water chemistry they’re mostly concerned about their chlorine and pH reading. And if their water isn’t crystal clear, some automatically assume it’s just their chlorine. While this might very well be the case in some instances, there are other elements crucial to your pools water clarity regardless of your chlorine reading. (For the sake of this post we will rule out circulation and filtration and simply focus on chemicals.)

And while chlorine and pH are two essential factors in maintaining proper water balance, they are both actually dependent on another factor: Total Alkalinity.

Total alkalinity is the measure of the ability of water to resist changes in pH…that is…the ability to “buffer” water from wide pH swings. Essentially the amount of sodium bicarbonate dissolved in pool water, total alkalinity serves two purposes: it is the governor of pH and it is the third and last major factor that affects water balance

A buffer is a chemical system that resists change upon the addition of acids or bases. In water that contains no buffering ability, pH can wander dramatically. This is called pH bounce – a rapid fluctuation of pH levels with the addition of small amounts of acid, base (alkali), or other pH altering agents. The result is highly unbalanced water resulting in damage to light rings, stainless steel ladders, copper heat exchangers, and concrete pool surfaces (etching, scaling, pitting)

This is why Total Alkalinity is crucial. It governs pH, which directly influences the effectiveness of your chlorine.

Chlorine is “ph dependant,” which basically means that the effectiveness of your chlorine is dictated by your pH levels. If your pH is too low, your chlorine dissipates more rapidly which is why pools with lower pH readings often have little or no chlorine readings. If your pH is too high, your chlorine is less effective in the water and may not even work at all.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of your chlorine is dictated by your pH levels, and your pH levels are dictated by your Alkalinity level. This makes Total Alkalinity the most important factor in maintaining balanced pool water and without it, your water will will never be perfectly balanced.

The Best Product Knowledge on Pool Supplies from A Pool Professional

pool supplies

If you own a pool, know someone who does or are looking to have one built then you either already know or will soon realize that swimming pools are a luxury. Pool supplies, maintenance, repairs and install aren’t exactly cheap. They can be on the pricier side of things and because pools are a fully functioning system, things break.

[Read more…]

A Brief History Of Swimming Pool Filtration

 pool filtration
The swimming pool industry has surely come a long way since I was young, especially in the past couple of years. And as much as the pool industry has been associated with the color blue, in recent years, they are going green…and so are their products.

To this day my father reminds me of what the pool industry was like over 40 years ago. He tells me about these ten-foot tall, monstrous sand and gravel filters with huge levers for backwashing and waste. He painted a pretty vivid picture for me and until recently I could only imagine what those things were like.

I finally got to see one of them up close and personal and it is a perfect example of just how far this industry has come. In every aspect of the word, the pool industry took an innovative turn into the modern world of technology and efficiency. Today we have 3 completely different types of filtration methods and media for swimming pools and you don’t need a 10 ft. tall metal tank to filter them. But it wasn’t always this way…

About 50 to 60 years ago, basically all swimming pool filters were sand and gravel filters consisting of multiple layers of sand and gravel. In order to capture a significant filter area, these filters had to be extremely large which also made them very expensive, initially. They also only had a 1 to 2 week water cycle and had to be backwashed very often. On a positive note, sand and gravel filters were an extremely effective way to filter your water. They were also just as durable and generally trouble-free.

Sand and gravel filters are rarely seen today but every so often I run into one. They are simply too big in a world where innovation is pushing compact design.  Their high cost and size render them an impractical form of filtration.

Today’s version of the older sand and gravel filters are the high-rate sand filters – same concept, different design. High-rate sand filters are essentially just an updated and modernized version of the sand and gravel filters. They use a single layer of very fine sand and are significantly smaller in size, requiring only about 15% of the space required for a sand and gravel filter. This compact size, although more convenient and cost effective, requires about 40% more water due to the fact that they must be backwashed more often. They also filter less particles than that of a sand and gravel filter due to their high pressure rate. This high rate filtration allows smaller particles to force their way through the sand and back into the pool water where the slow moving water of a sand and gravel filter trapped these particles, which allowed for better filtration. High rate sand filters only filter about 50-100 microns on a regular basis but can filter down to 25. Sand and gravel filters can filter consistently between the 8-10 micron range.

Both Sand and gravel filters and high-rate sand filters could virtually last you forever. But the sanitary aspect of a media sitting inside a filter designed to capture debris and bacteria became something of a health concern. Generally the sand should last about 10 years and then need to be replaced.

Eventually D.E. or Diatomite filters were introduced and sand filters took a backseat to the unmatched filtration qualities of these filters. Unlike the permanent media of a sand filter, D.E. filters require a diatomite filter media that is applied to the internal filter elements at the beginning of every cycle and removed with the backwash water at the end of the cycle.

Where sand filters lacked, D.E. filters excelled in every aspect. Their extremely compact size and ability to filter particles as small as 2 microns made D.E. filters the future of filtration in the swimming pool industry. D.E. filters are still the most effective filtration units today but at the time they still required backwashing. Backwashing is an extreme waste of water and would require filling the pool with fresh water more often. This affects the water bill as well as a pool’s water chemistry.

Cartridge filters were soon introduced for residential purposes with the ability to be taken out, washed off and put back. Although this was more work than turning a valve on sand and D.E. filters, it did not require backwashing and was relatively easy to do.  Cartridge filters also filter smaller particles than high rate sand filters and are the most compact in size.

Nowadays filters have taken the quality of a D.E. filter and combined it with the convenience of a cartridge filter. Not only do the new D.E. Cartridge filters not require backwashing but they do not need to be cleaned as often as single cartridge filters and they have the same filtration qualities of a standard D.E. filter. It’s the best of both worlds in a compact, efficient design.

From the filters of old to the filters of new, these filtration methods have slowly evolved over the years into the compact, efficient, green products of today’s swimming pool industry. With the durability and quality of older filter models molded with the compact and efficient designs of todays, swimming pool filtration has truly come a long way.

5 Amazing Waterproof Gadgets By Sony

waterproof

Is Sony leading the way in waterproof devices? It sure seems like it. With their array of gadgets in every industry from MP3 players to smartphones and even a new action camera that supposedly trumps the well known GoPro, they seem to have everything covered. For the avid water-go-er or just anyone seeking the protect ability of a waterproof device, Sony has you covered. Check out some of these amazing waterproof gadgets…

 

 

Sony NWZW273 4GB Waterproof Walkman Sports MP3 Player

Take your workout and your music below the surface. With an innovative waterproof design, the W Series can be submerged as deep as 6 feet (2m) underwater, as well as hold up to intense workouts. Let the music you love power you through lap after lap.

BluePink, White

waterproof

 

 

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

In the market for an amazing tablet? Then you might want to wait until May for the release of the world’s slimmest and lightest waterproof tablet. The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is available for pre-order now.

Crafted with premium materials, the Xperia Z2 Tablet is beautifully durable. At only 6.4 mm and from 426 g, Sony has managed to create the world’s slimmest and lightest waterproof tablet. Its dust- and scratch-resistant display, and entirely waterproof body is designed to handle every aspect of your life.

waterproof

 

 

 

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

The only waterproof Full HD smartphone. Xperia Z boldly goes where no phone’s gone before: underwater. Meet the envy-inducing, water resistant, Full HD smartphone with a premium 13MP camera-only from Sony. The Xperia™ Z handles spills, splashes and even total submersion that would send other phones to their watery grave.

waterproof

 

 

 

 

Sony Cyber Shot DSC-TX30 18 MP Digital Camera

Capture crystal-clear pictures and HD videos poolside or underwater without a worry. This pint-sized powerhouse packs in 18.2 megapixels, plus it’s waterproof, dustproof, freezeproof and shockproof.

waterproof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sony HD POV Action Video HDR-AS30V

The HDR-AS15 is a rugged, wearable Full HD video camcorder with built-in Wi-Fi. Weighing in at just 3.2 ounces (with battery) it lets you capture your adventures on the mountain, in the water, and anywhere else you go for your adrenaline fixes.

waterproof

Swimming Pool Problems & Solutions

swimming pool problems

Being in the field is an important part of any industry because you get a first hand look at what’s actually going on. In my case, I decided to start taking pics of anything I think is worth possibly putting up on the web…Turns out, there’s a lot.

I’m constantly coming across a bunch of different situations, good and bad, in the swimming pool industry which I keep until I can come up with an idea for a post to share.

I think its important to stay up to date in your industry but if I can help others out along the way with some info. they may not have known or just some helpful tips then that’s a definite plus.

So here are some swimming pool problems and solutions I came across in order to maintain a healthy swimming pool.

Bobby Pins

swimming pool problems

These metal clips can be a huge swimming pool problem. Girls probably forget they even have them in their hair before diving into the water. But these pins can permanently stain your pools surface in a matter of hours and an abundance of them being kicked around the bottom instead of being picked up can leave you with a collection of surface stains.

Don’t ruin your beautiful and expensive swimming pool surface with something that can be easily prevented. Make sure to remove all hair clips or anything metal that could potentially fall off. Also before getting out of the pool for good, take a quick look around and make sure you didn’t accidentally have anything fall off of you that could potentially stain the surface.

 

Filthy Filters

swimming pool problems

Somewhere along the way, you may have heard that “filters clean better when they are dirty.” Now let me rephrase that. What they should have said was “filters clean better when they are a little dirtier, but not filthy. There’s a difference…” Because it is true that when filters are a little dirtier than clean, they catch more debris, which makes sense. But a filter that hasn’t been cleaned in 6 months does the exact opposite and is so clogged up with shit that it stops filtering entirely and actually restricts water flow.

These are the dirtiest filters I’ve ever seen and they’re actually ruined. So in this case a lazy man doesn’t work twice as hard, he pays twice as much because now he has to purchase 4 new cartridges. Clean your filters every couple of weeks. Every other week is ideal depending on your pool but the longer you wait to clean your filter, the more problems you are creating for yourself.

 

Chlorine Tablets

swimming pool problems

Can I just say if your putting multiple forms of chlorine in your swimming pool simultaneously with no other purpose than to add chlorine, you will eventually end up being a blog post on this site, its only a matter of time…But seriously, this is just a waste of money. Tablets aren’t cheap and throwing them in a vat of chlorine is absolutely a waste of everything that went into the process of putting chlorine tablets into a vat of chlorine… Never do this. Ever.

If you have an automatic chlorine feeder, you do not need to add tablets to your swimming pool unless you are adding them for stabilizer. The point of chlorine tablets aside from their stabilization purposes is to essentially add chlorine to your pool more consistently in smaller doses. Which is what happens when the tablet dissolves over time. In theory, this is essentially the same concept of the chlorine feeder so doing this renders the tablets completely irrelevant. You may as well be throwing them into the garbage. Next…

 

Tile

swimming pool problems

The ironic thing about swimming pool tile is that as beautiful as some of them are, they are usually something you don’t generally notice individually of the entire pool until they’re filthy, like this. But when they’re this dirty, its hard not to notice. Pool tile needs to be cleaned regularly because oils from swimmers will eventually stick to them. These oils and other particles are too small to be filtered out.

There are other chemicals that reduce oils as well as other processes for cleaning filters that help dissipate these oils but regardless the tile needs to be cleaned regularly. The more often you clean your tile the easier it is, trust me. Also the best way to do it is to enjoy your swimming pool and jump on in with some tile soap and scrub pad. A little elbow grease never hurt anyone.

 

Metals

swimming pool problems

Unbalanced swimming pool water is corrosive and can virtually corrode any metal, except stainless steel… Don’t believe me? Well this is a very old cast iron strainer for a huge commercial pool and I think it’s pretty obvious who won that battle. The downside to this is that once the metal becomes corroded, it gets into the pool water. Eventually these metal particles will land on the pool surface and stain. And because these particles are so small, they can stain a big portion of your surface instead of small individual stains. These are the worst stains because of their size. Also I don’t want metal in my water, OK!

Usually people say “if it aint broke don’t fix it.” Well this strainer isn’t broke but it needs to be replaced. This is a very old unit and it takes a very long time for one of these to get like this but now they manufacture heavy duty plastic ones that will virtually last forever. Its 2014 for Christ sakes, get with it.

Why We Deal With AquaCal And You Should Too

aquacal
“Sometimes who you are doing business with is a lot more important than the business that you are doing.”

We believe this whole-heartedly, which is why in the swimming pool industry it is difficult to refer certain companies that specialize in heaters, leaks and construction.

You see, we have certain beliefs and values that we instill into our business model, one of which is honesty and a lot of times it is hard to find companies that share the same values.

The problem is some companies are just so big that it is hard for them to keep track of everything and everyone all the time and thus, quality or communication gets lost along the way between command and execution; which is actually understandable. After all, no one is perfect.

But the important thing is that if and when something does come up where there was a miscommunication or the quality of the job wasn’t up to par, that the company addresses it and resolves it the right way.

 

The Story

That being said, we had an incident a short while back with one of our distributors, AquaCal, who we’ve been purchasing from for over 20 years.

Now for those that don’t know, we are a small family owned and operated business so we don’t purchase any significant amount of products at once.

But needless to say we developed a relationship with AquaCal over the many years of purchasing our heaters from them.

We love their heaters, we always have. As far as we’re concerned they manufacture some of the best heaters hands down. After all they do specialize in heaters specifically.

On top of that, their warranty service is also one of the best. We actually recently installed one of their heaters which started to act up once we fired it up, (which I’ve never seen before) and their service tech. was there the same day to fix it.

If that’s not service, I don’t know what is.

So a while back we received one of these in the mail.

aquacal aquacal

Which makes it really convenient to service a heater that needs repair.

So when we had a customer that needed a heater repaired, we called them up. My mother was the one who actually made the phone call and when she spoke to the person who would be performing the “repair,” she reminded him that if the customer needed a new heater, that we would be selling him one – as it was OUR customer, as it reads on the flyer, as that is an unwritten rule in the swimming pool industry, and most importantly as it is the right thing to do.

So of course, the repair tech. replied “OK.”

 

Oops

The very next week, to our surprise, we were made aware by my brother, who services that particular customers pool, that there was a brand new AquaCal heater installed.

At that point we were pretty disappointed to say the least, especially my dad. He immediately called up our rep. and told him exactly what happened and wanted to know how that happened after we gave specific instructions to avoid this situation.

The initial conversation didn’t go to our liking. The rep. wasn’t in any position to make any significant reimbursements but eventually offered us a couple hundred bucks off our next heater purchase.

My dad obviously wanted to speak to somebody in charge…

He wanted AquaCal to admit their fault and make it right. He’s a “southern boy” from Kentucky with a short temper for stuff like that.

And after a couple days of speaking to different people at the company in order to get the story across to the right people, they did.

 

That’s Why

AquaCal stood by their word, admitted their mistake and took responsibility for what happened.

They sent us a brand new heater free of charge, which is more than my dad expected. After all it wasn’t about the money. It was about the principle.

My dad would say that they went above and beyond to resolve this issue and aside from the incident even taking place, couldn’t be happier with how they decided to make it right.

We stood by AquaCal’s products and service before this happened and we stand by them even more so now because of it.

Not because they made a pretty significant mistake, but because of the way they decided to handled it.

Anyone can make a mistake…It’s how they fix it that sets them apart.

 

aquacal

Thank you AquaCal

 

Swimming Pool Raccoon Problems

swimming pool raccoon problems

One of the most common critter problems around swimming pools in Miami is undoubtedly a raccoon problem.

These clever creatures can become a headache for homeowners, leaving paw prints, food and even feces around the pool deck and on your pool steps. – Not a pretty sight.

They’re not very cute either so that’s not helping their case.

But as menacing as these little guys can be, there is reasoning behind all their madness.

 

Some Facts

swimming pool raccoon problems

The raccoon’s most distinctive features are its obvious facial mask and its extremely dexterous front paws.

Furthermore, the most important sense for the raccoon is its sense of touch.

Almost two-thirds of the area responsible for sensory perception in the raccoon’s cerebral cortex is specialized for the interpretation of tactile impulses, more than in any other studied animal.

They are able to identify objects before touching them with vibrissae located above their sharp, non-retractable claws.

And these “hyper sensitive” front paws are protected by a thin horny layer which becomes pliable when wet.

 

So Why Are Raccoons Terrorizing My Backyard Swimming Pool?

swimming pool raccoon problems

Well due to their adaptability they have extended their original habitat range from mixed forests to coastal marshes and urban areas where some homeowners clearly consider them to be pests.

So needless to say, they’re here to stay. (Hey that rhymed)

 

Why Is This Important?

Because one aspect of raccoon behavior is so well known that it gives the animal part of its scientific name, Procyon lotor; “lotor” is neo-Latin for “washer”.

In the wild, raccoons often dabble for underwater food near the shoreline. They then often pick up the food item with their front paws to examine it and rub the item, sometimes to remove unwanted parts. This gives the appearance of the raccoon “washing” the food.

The tactile sensitivity of raccoons’ paws is increased if this rubbing action is performed underwater, since the water softens the hard layer covering the paws.

Naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, believed that raccoons do not have adequate saliva production to moisten food thereby necessitating dousing, but this hypothesis is now considered to be incorrect.

-Wiki

 

 

In Conclusion

I’m sure your first thoughts of a raccoon running around your backyard and in your swimming pool gives you the idea that it is just being its mischievous self and taking a dip on a hot summers day.

But a behavior observed in captive raccoons in which they carry their food to water to “wash” or douse it before eating has actually not been observed in the wild.

So the widely accepted theory is that dousing in captive raccoons is a fixed action pattern from the dabbling behavior performed when foraging at shores for aquatic foods in their natural wild habitat.

Also, captive raccoons douse their food more frequently when a watering hole with a layout similar to a stream is not farther away than 3 m (10 ft).

Although raccoons may not be searching for food in your swimming pool, they may very well be demonstrating the fixed action pattern similar to those of captive raccoons, especially with your pool being so easily accessible.

So with about 10 million swimming pools in the U.S., it should come as no surprise that with such adaptive qualities, a raccoon could acclimate to an urban environment and use an easily accessible body of water; your swimming pool, to its advantage.

So the next time you see a raccoon taking a dip in your swimming pool or leaving you a present on your top step, you know that it is simply replacing a natural body of water with a man-made one.

 

So how do I rid a raccoon from my swimming pool?

Getting rid of these clever critters may take some know-how or they’ll just keep coming back.

You may want to consider calling an animal control company to catch your little friend and send him on his way.

Another option is purchasing some granular chlorine (pool shock) from your local pool store or from your pool contractor and sprinkling it around your coping.

swimming pool raccoon problems

Animals dislike this strong smell and if they try to walk on it, it will burn their paws. We have found this to be pretty effective when done on a regular basis.

We do this as a courtesy for our customers who have this problem and it hasn’t failed yet.

 

 

 

New layer…

Swimming Pool Chemical Safety

As I’m sure we all know by now, swimming pool chemicals should always be handled with care, especially acid and chlorine. If anyone has ever gotten either of these two in a small cut, you understand why.   Chlorine on the skin doesn’t immediately burn but it becomes uncomfortable and eventually will begin to burn. Acid on the other hand burns immediately. Even the fumes from the acid will begin to significantly itch your skin and if you breathe it in you’ll wish you hadn’t. Try acid washing your pool and you’ll get a better sense of what I mean.   Now I handle these chemicals every single day, multiple times a day and still get some on me every once in a while. And there’s nothing like a good gulp of acid fumes in the face at 8am to get the blood moving… it’s that damn wind.   But all joking aside, these two chemicals can potentially be deadly if not handled extremely carefully. Getting chemicals on me is just part of the job. We handle them so often and casually, that sometimes splashes from the water or spills from opening a cap are just bound to get on you.   That being said, I as well as many swimming pool professionals usually don’t have any major problems because we also fully understand the extreme dangers of these chemicals outside of swimming pool water and we handle them accordingly.

As I’m sure we all know by now, swimming pool chemical should always be handled with care, especially acid and chlorine. If anyone has ever gotten either of these two in a small cut, you understand why.

Chlorine on the skin doesn’t immediately burn but it becomes uncomfortable and eventually will begin to burn. Acid on the other hand burns immediately. Even the fumes from the acid will begin to significantly itch your skin and if you breathe it in you’ll wish you hadn’t. Try acid washing your pool and you’ll get a better sense of what I mean.

Now I handle these chemicals every single day, multiple times a day and still get some on me every once in a while. And there’s nothing like a good gulp of acid fumes in the face at 8am to get the blood moving… it’s that damn wind.

But all joking aside, these two chemicals can potentially be deadly if not handled extremely carefully. Getting chemicals on me is just part of the job. We handle them so often and casually, that sometimes splashes from the water or spills from opening a cap are just bound to get on you.

That being said, I as well as many swimming pool professionals usually don’t have any major problems because we also fully understand the extreme dangers of these chemicals outside of swimming pool water and we handle them accordingly.

 

I was lucky enough to experience this first hand so I’d like to share this with you… 

Now for those that don’t know, this is a family business and like it or not, I have been around and working on swimming pools my entire life. So when I was about 10 years old in 3rd or 4th grade (I cant remember,) I was helping my dad just like any other day. We were walking alongside a customer’s house to the backyard. I was carrying a jerry jug of chlorine in each hand and I was trying to see if I could carry them the entire length of the house. This was a wealthy customer whose house was pretty big and it was a good distance to the backyard. (I never needed to go to the gym.)

Now a gallon of chlorine is roughly 12 lbs. and a jerry jug is 2.5 gallons so they aren’t exactly what you would call “light” for a 10 year old.

So by the time I reached the backyard my arms were about to fall off. So naturally I set them down abruptly while sagging my head and letting out a big breath of air. The only problem is the jerry jugs I was carrying didn’t have caps on them. (We have 100 gl. Chlorine tanks with a hose to fill up individual jerry jugs so we never keep the caps on them because they are in and out of the trucks so often.) What happened next probably happened in a split second but I can remember it like it happened in slow motion.

The chlorine in the right jug splashed up into my right eye.

(I remembered my dad telling me since I was probably born that if I ever got chlorine in my eye, to run and dive into the closest body of water no matter what.)

So I immediately ran as fast as possible, screaming at the top of my lungs, with both my eyes closed, just opening my left one enough to see blue right before diving into the pool water.

I swam underwater all the way to the other side of the pool with my eyes as open as possible to flush out the chlorine while my dad went and got the hose.

I sat at the steps for probably 20 minutes or so trying to put the hose water directly into my eye. But adding water seemed to make it worse. Actually anything involving opening my eye didn’t agree with my eyelid. It wanted to stay tightly shut. I had to forcefully hold my eyelid open to get the water in there but it fought me the entire time.

Believe it or not it wasn’t until I calmed down a little bit while running the hose water through my eye that I realized I couldn’t see out of it… I got worried and started asking my dad if I was going to go blind. He assured me that I wasn’t but I was so young, what was I supposed to think. So every time I took the hose away to see if I could see anything, it was just a white fuzziness, basically a blur. Not to mention I couldn’t even fully open my eye and my eyelid was swollen.

After the 20 minutes or so the pain had subsided enough so we could leave. The blurriness also cleared up significantly and we walked back to the truck. (My dad had finished servicing the pool while I was flushing my eye out with the hose.)

While in the truck I immediately wanted to see my eye in the overhead mirror. It wasn’t too bad but my eyelid was swollen. I flipped my eyelid inside out and saw why… there was a huge red blister and burn on the inside of my eyelid.

For the next couple of days, my vision out of my right eye was blurry and white but I could see. It still hurt but not nearly as bad as the initial pain. I must have set a record for blinking in the next couple of days because that’s all my eye wanted to do.

After that, it was back to normal and I feel I can say I’m lucky I didn’t go blind. My dad always said after that “you’ll never make that mistake again” and he’s right. I don’t think anyone is dumb enough to make that kind of mistake twice because the second time you probably won’t be so lucky.

The pain was excruciating. I can’t even begin to describe what it felt like. It was to this day still the most painful thing I have ever experienced. (And I’ve literally broken my thumb in half and had to have metal pins put in to put it back in place, with-stained a 3rd degree burn on my shin, simultaneously torn my ligament and tendon in my middle finger, received stitches in both my chin and right foot, had a hematoma in my right calf, wrestled with cauliflower ear while it was still soft, & had my cauliflower ear drained on 3 separate occasions.)  That’s about all I can remember but you get the idea…

 

So for those people who are lucky enough to not have gone through such a traumatic experience with swimming pool chemicals, which is probably the majority of people, there are a couple of little things you can do to make sure that sort of thing never happens:

  • Always put a cap or lid on all your swimming pool chemicals especially chlorine.
  • Look away before pouring chlorine or acid in the water – It’s not that exciting anyways.
  • Wear sunglasses or safety glasses when handling pool chemicals – Sunglasses look cooler.
  • Don’t breathe in any fumes – These fumes won’t get you high.
  • Keep them in a breathable but secure place out of reach of children – There’s no joke for that one.
  • Keep out of contact with your skin as much as possible.
  • Wear gloves when handling any granular or solid form chemicals.

 

Most importantly, understand the severity swimming pool chemicals can have when in direct contact with the skin:
  • Getting chlorine or acid in your eye can blind you.
  • Beathing in acid fumes, or granular chlorine fumes can kill you.
  • Handling tablets can give you skin cancer.
  • An open container of these chemicals in a closed room will eventually rust or corrode metals and trust me, you don’t want to be breathing that in your lungs.
Also tell your kids what to do incase of an emergency with pool chemicals. The eye needs to be flushed out immediately. 

 

3 Pool Safety Rules Everyone Should Reconsider

pool safety

For as long as swimming pools have been around, is it still necessary to constantly keep reminding everyone about the swimming pool safety rules? As if anybody actually reads or takes them into consideration anyways, right…? I know I didn’t when I was younger – and my dad was actually in the swimming pool industry. Oh the irony…

For as long as I can remember, the pool safety rules have basically been the same at every commercial swimming pool. We get it, “No running,” “No glass,” “Shower beforehand,” etc.…but all that really sounds like to us is “No Fun,” especially for the younger ones. I mean all those “No’s” just sound so negative, no wonder no one pays attention to any of them.

Little kids want to run wild around the pool every chance they get, teens want to hang out at the pool at night while its closed, the older groups want to drink beer at the pool – and not out of a can… I know because I use to be one of them. (My dads going to kill me haha.) and surely no one ever pays attention to how many people are actually in the pool at one time.

I think part of the problem is – besides the obvious authoritative manner in which the rules are displayed (No, No, No, No…) – that no ones ever really explained the reasoning behind these somewhat “silly” rules in the first place.

Have you ever told someone they can’t do something without explaining why? That’s pretty aggravating in it of itself but surely the next thing out of that person’s mouth is “why not?”

Personally I always appreciate a “please” and I think that makes the world of difference no matter what you’re talking about.

pool safety

So aside from the blatantly obvious rules, I wanted to give you some reasoning from a different perspective on some of the rules that people may not fully understand; a pool professionals perspective.

 

1. No glass in pool area

This is an important one and may not be as obvious as you think. I too use to hate this rule because I felt once I was “old enough” that as long as I was responsible; I didn’t see the harm in having a glass bottle on the table in the pool area. The main concern obviously being broken glass and someone cutting their foot…But on the contrary, although that is also a legitimate reason that is not the most important one.

By law, if any broken glass enters a swimming pool the pool must be drained in order to properly remove it because glass is virtually invisible under the water. If done properly, this involves closing the pool, vacuuming it, draining it, cleaning the filters, filling the pool back up and then rebalancing the chemicals.

Depending on the size of the pool, this could cost a fortune in water alone. Some pools we service are over 100,000 gallons of water. That could potentially take a week to refill and balance while the pool remains closed to the public. Now imagine all that because of one stubborn person… worth it?

 

2. Shower before entering

This may be the most overlooked rule ever and I can’t blame anyone for thinking “why would I shower when I’m about to jump into a pool full of chemicals?” So maybe this will help; here is a paragraph from one of my previous posts to help you get a better idea of what goes in to the water.

“Microorganisms are living creatures too small to be seen by the naked eye and are constantly introduced into your swimming pool water by rain, wind, and the human bather.

Non-living organic contaminants are also objectionable. An active adult swimmer can lose a pint of perspiration or more per hour. Perspiration is loaded with compounds resembling the chemistry of urine. The body is also constantly shedding microscopic skin particles sloughed off by the friction of water. These are all “involuntary wastes.” Add in “voluntary wastes” such as expectorate, nasal discharge, fecal matter, and urine and you begin to appreciate the bather load created.” – Taylor Technologies

Here is the full blog post:

http://www.poolrangersinc.com/whats-really-in-your-swimming-pool-water/

Now you especially begin to appreciate the bather load when you consider how many people are swimming at any given time plus the amount of people in and out of the pool throughout the entire day. Imagine the difference it would make if every single person who used the pool showered beforehand. 

 

3. Maximum Capacity

This one plays a close role to the previous rule of “Showering before you enter.” Not because the pool couldn’t potentially fit that many people in it at once but because of its filtration area.

Every swimming pool has a specific motor circulating a certain amount of water in gallons per minute. Now based on the amount of water moving in order to properly circulate the water, the filtration area is designed to match the GPM accordingly in order to filter the proper amount of water moving through it.

Basically the pool is designed to circulate and filter a certain amount of water per day, usually enough to turn the pool over twice. That being said, if there are too many people in the pool at once and consistently throughout the day, then you are introducing more contaminants into the water than you are able to filter. Make sense? Chemicals are only half the battle my friends.

 

I hope this helps shed some light on the true significance of some of the oldest swimming pool safety rules around.

 

Pool Landscaping – The Sh** They Should Show You

pool landscaping

Generally speaking, I think its safe to say that for the most part, when people think of swimming pools, they imagine an image of crystal clear water sparkling in the sun, inviting them to jump on in…and shouldn’t that be exactly what you want out of your pool?

Especially if you’re in the process of having a new one built…It would be pretty unusual if that weren’t somewhat close to the image you’re currently portraying in your head.

I mean if it wasn’t, then I’d be out of business. After all isn’t that why swimming pool owners hire swimming pool professionals to design, build and maintain their swimming pools?

Furthermore, shouldn’t this image also be what pool professionals strive to achieve when designing, building and maintaining a swimming pool?

If so, you would think that everybody in the swimming pool industry would consider ALL the factors involved beforehand in order to educate their customer on creating and maintaining their ideal swimming pool.

Specifically, site analysis and landscaping because landscaping is the single most contributing factor to your swimming pools aesthetic presence. Even one leaf at the bottom of an otherwise pristine pool will be the first thing your eyes are drawn towards when you walk up to a swimming pool.

So this reminded me of an old Carmax ad that really caught my attention when I first came across it.

pool landscaping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love this concept because this is one of the most important values that my dad built the foundation of this company on; Honesty…and you can apply this to any industry…

 

 

Because lets face it, what’s the point of having this swimming pool?…

pool landscaping

 

If it’s going to look like this…
pool landscaping pool landscaping
Every single week…

 

And this is just one example. I can’t tell you how many recently new swimming pools are being built under or directly next to some of the worst plants and trees to have anywhere near them for obvious reasons.

Whether it’s a new construction project or you are simply thinking of doing landscaping, you need to really consider the types of plants and trees you decide on as well as the distance from your pool you are going to plant them, especially if you live on the beach.

Unfortunately for this pool above, that’s exactly the problem. This swimming pool is near the beach and receives constant gusts of wind from the shore and of course there are 50 ft. tall bamboo trees planted in the absolute worse place possible.

Probably the worst decision in the history of the swimming pool industry, at least in my opinion are having Avocado trees or Mango trees anywhere remotely close to your swimming pool not to mention hanging directly over the water. This still amazes me to this day. As if fallen and broken mangos and avocados on the deck attracting animals, flies and mosquitos is a good look for any pool…Not to mention the ones at the bottom of the pool and in the skimmer that leave stains on the surface. It’s just a complete mess.

So whether your thinking of building a pool or doing any landscaping around your swimming pool, you should really consult with your pool builder and/or your landscaper about the location of the pool to existing plants and trees or more importantly, the TYPES of plants and trees and how prone they are to shedding their leaves, etc.. 

 

Tips

Pool Landscaping: Take it from us, you do not want to spend such a significant amount of money on designing a beautiful new pool only to end up having the dirtiest pool in the neighborhood.  

  • When landscaping, consider which plants shed least and always try to plant a reasonable distance away from the pool. (at least 4 ft)
  • Consider which plants and trees have small and slow growing roots. Large roots that grow rapidly can cause damage to the tile, deck and even cause leaks.
  • Overhanging trees are a pools worst nightmare. Always try to keep your trees trimmed back away from pool.
  • If you’re going to have landscaping around the pool deck, keep the soil, mulch or stone at a lower level than the decking. Rains and sprinklers will cause soil and mulch to run back into the pool.
  • While designing pool and deck layout, allow enough space on every side of pool for someone to walk comfortably. (helps with pool cleaning)
  • If your going to use pavers for your decking, or coping for your pool perimeter, keep in mind that regular maintenance is required from keeping the pavers and coping from eventually caving in and insects bring up sand that ends up in your pool.
  • ALWAYS use non-skid flooring for your decking or “slippery when wet” becomes an understatement. Especially when algae growth occurs.
  • Consult your contractor about making sure your deck does not slope downward towards the pool.
  • If your going to have big planters, make sure to keep them a good distance from the pool. If you insist on keeping them close to the pool perimeter, make sure to leave enough deck space for someone to work and walk around. Also be cautious about which plants you choose.
  • Plants with thorns are a pool technician’s worst nightmare.
  • Planting around pool equipment should be done in an openly accessible way and refrain from planting “on top” of your equipment.
  • Fertilizers alter pool chemicals and can permanently stain your surface.
  • WHITE FLY not only kills your surrounding landscape but the sticky secretion they leave behind jurastically depletes your swimming pool chemicals, clogs your filter and leaves an oily residue on the waters surface which accumulates on the tile.
  • PESTICIDES used to treat this WHITE FLY alters your swimming pool chemicals and usually more than one treatment is necessary in order to rid your plants of the fly. This can become a back and forth vicious cycle for your pool and landscape in South Florida.