Pool problems check the Pool Wizard

RoysPool3-300x225Pool problem help & pool maintenance tips

Most pool owners have similar complaints about their pool water problems and say things like: “My swimming pool always turns green with algae!”, “My eyes and nose burn when I swim and I can smell the chlorine,” or “The swimming pool water is cloudy. How do I know if the water is safe for my kids?”

This site addresses these and other questions about pool water chemistry and swimming pool problems. Step by step guides take you through all aspects of pool water testing, balancing the water chemistry and general swimming pool maintenance. To make life easier, there are convenient water calculators to help you work out how much of each chemical you need. You can also work out the volume of your swimming pool or make conversions between gallons and liters.

The pages dealing with identifying and solving the most common swimming pool problems will no doubt be of use to all pool owners, pool maintainers and swimmers alike. Problems such as algae, cloudy water, swimming pool illnesses and chlorine smells are covered. Please feel free to request help on topics not covered on this site.

A section is devoted to the Pool Wizard, a fully patented revolutionary swimming pool accessory using natural minerals, which dramatically reduces pool maintenance and the associated pool chemical costs (such as chlorine, flocculant and algaecide). Never again will you have algae in your swimming pool. It even prevents and destroys the most stubborn black algae found in pool water. It kills bacteria and fungus too, with no maintenance required (apart from half an hour every 7 to 9 months).

A comprehensive glossary of swimming pool and pool maintenance terminology has been added. If you can’t figure out the pool manuals or maintenance guides, then this can really help to solve your problems.

Why not check out some of the satisfied users of the Pool Wizard and view some of the before/ after photos, or explore web sites in our pool and spa directory containing useful information relevant to swimming pools, swimming and pool water quality, hot tubs and spas (as well as a few of my own personal favorites).

Swimming Pool Plaster Repairs

Swimming Pool Plaster Repairs

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Concrete swimming pools are the best pools that money can buy but when it comes to repairs, like to the interior surface of the pool, the repair costs can get very heavy, very quickly. The interior surface of a concrete pool is a very dense mortar that is troweled to a water resistant smooth finish. The base layer, or structure of a concrete pool, is made from concrete and steel reinforcing. Concrete however is porous which means that water would leak out constantly. In order to limit this problem, a very dense mortar layer, called plaster, is applied over the entire interior surface of the pool. The plaster layer is a very dense mortar, which reduces water permeability, however troweling the plaster when it is nearly already hard, called a “hard trowel” is where the majority of the water resistance comes from.
It is important to note that all concrete pools “leak” water. Concrete is porous, even plaster, and as such a small amount of water will always leach through the interior surface – this is normal for concrete swimming pools

There is no such thing as a waterproof concrete pool – only varying degrees of water resistance. The only potential “waterproof” concrete pool would be one that has an interior surface entirely comprised of Laticrete backed tile which is a cementitious layer engineered to be fully water proof. Almost no residential concrete pools are all tile, and of the few that are all tile, very few (almost none) were installed using the Laticrete system. What does all this mean to you as a pool owner? It is important to understand some truths about how concrete pools work, how they leak, and what realistically you can do about it. If you have a concrete pool with an older or failing interior surface (plaster) then the information on this page will help you to understand what the concerns are, and what kind of repairs you can do on your own to limit or potentially eliminate the problem.

How To Fix Pool Plaster

Now that you have a better understanding to how pool plaster works, how it fails, and how it differs from painted interior surfaces, we can start to look at how you can perform repairs to your pool plaster. While resurfacing your entire pool with plaster may not be a DIY level project, you certainly will be able to make repairs to cracks, holes and delaminated areas with a little instruction. In order to understand what kind of repairs you should be able to do we should first look at the different ways that pool plaster can fail:

crazing in pool plaster
Crazing – Crazing is a network of spider cracks that appear in concrete due to the contraction of the surface layer as the concrete cures. Since concrete shrinks as it cures the development of crazing will set in shortly after new concrete has been finished. This typically would appear within one to three days after a new plaster resurfacing. Most commonly the crazing will not be visible, or be only minimally visible when wet or underwater. Crazing will be most apparent when the pool surface is dry and you spray it with water. The miniscule cracks from the crazing will have a dark contrast when compared to the rest of the plaster layer. Crazing usually does not actively leak water although it will incrementally increase the rate at which your interior surface leaches water to the substrate layer. Since crazing cracks are so shallow they can almost not be detected by feel and are not something that you can patch over in your pool. To minimize crazing when resurfacing a concrete pool you want to apply the new layer well before any direct sunlight or heat touches the plaster. A 6 hour plaster project often would be started around 5 or 6 in the morning. This way by the time the heat of the day and the direct sunlight are on the pool, the plaster has been finished.

Non structural cracks – A non structural crack in a concrete pool refers to a crack in the interior surface layer (plaster) and not through the concrete shell. There are many reasons that a crack might develop in your plaster layer however most of these would be from the initial placement of the plaster. Cracks that develop later in the life of the plaster are most likely to be due to a crack in the shell layer to which the plaster is bonded. A non structural crack in pool plaster that develops later in the life of the plaster will almost certainly be a result of a delaminated area of plaster. This could be from poor bonding of the plaster layer in the pool which allow pool water to access a pocket in between the shell and the plaster.

cracks in a poolStructural cracks – A structural crack in a concrete pool will present itself in mostly the same way as a non structural crack. For you, the pool owner, both look the same in that all you can see is a crack in the interior surface of the pool. There are a few different ways to differentiate between structural cracks and non-structural cracks in a concrete pool. The first is simply the location, length and depth of the crack. I would expect a non-structural crack to be smaller, narrower, shallower and shorter than a structural crack. Any crack that runs for more than a linear foot or two is highly suspect of being a structural crack. Typical symptoms of structural cracks might be crack that runs the width or length of the pool in any orientation, floor or walls, as well as any crack that segments an entire section of the pool such as a crack from the main drain to each of the deep end corners in the pool. Aside from visually inspecting the cracked areas to see if the crack continues past the plaster layer and into the shell, you can also try dye testing the crack to see if it is actively pulling water. If you need more information on how to dye test you can find this information in this pool leak detection article. If it is determined that you have a structural crack in your pool this is a very bad situation to have. Patching and new plaster will not stop a structural crack from leaking, or getting worse, unless the crack is no longer migrating. There are some rare cases where a pool will settle, perhaps due to a one time environmental event such as a leak or flood, and it will crack structurally but cease movement after cracking. If you have a crack that is completely stationary then you may be able to fix the leak with an inject-able urethane followed by a water stop concrete patch.

Delaminating – Since plaster is only around half an inch thick it is not very strong on its own. When applied over the concrete shell of the pool it must be bonded. Bonding concrete involves removing all grease, oil and dust from the shell, and applying a bonding slurry over the concrete shell, and then plastering over this bonding layer. There are a number of things that can go wrong with this process that can result in the plaster delaminating, either right away, or within a few years. If the existing concrete layer is dirty, greasy or has any physical debris then this will certainly prevent a strong bond between the plaster and the shell. If the shell concrete is too dry when plastered this can also cause a delamination between the layers. If the bonding layer itself is allowed to dry too much before the plaster is applied over it then this could also cause a delamination. Finding delaminated plaster in a concrete pool is actually very easy with the only exception being that the pool needs to be emptied. Dragging any heavy tool such as a hammer, or heavy screwdriver handle over the pool plaster will reveal any delaminated areas. Any areas that are delaminated will sound very hollow, so much so that you would be hard pressed to not be able to tell the difference. Any plaster areas that sound hollow have already delaminated and will likely continue to crack and get worse unless you remove them and patch these areas.

Give on Thanksgiving

wclementstone193804Thanksgiving Day as many people celebrate with their loved ones, fully enjoy the day and take it all in. This day is traditionally a time to be with families, friends, and loved ones. It focuses around sharing a meal and enjoying precious time together.

Live each day with Gratitude

Appreciate the things you have in your life everyday, and not just on Thanksgiving Day. Value all the goodness, beauty, and love around you. Notice what’s right instead of what’s wrong, and begin to see every “problem” as an opportunity for growth and development. Be thankful for a gift from a friend, a child’s smile, a stranger’s kindness, and even the weather, regardless of whether it is raining or the sun is shining. Make it a lifelong commitment to live with an attitude of gratitude.

 Celebrate life every day.

Give yourself the best things possible. Eat healthy and quality food.  Exercise regularly and make it fun. Do also take time out to rest and get enough sleep. After all, you don’t want to get too tired for the next day of celebrating life!

Appreciate Others

Countless people contribute daily to make your life what it is. From the postman to the checkout assistant, everyone that you interact with plays a key role in helping you flow through your day. The food at your table, your car, and the clothes you wear—all these things are possible only because of the toil and sweat of thousands of strangers around the world. Show your appreciation to the people you meet daily. Even just genuinely saying thank you from the heart will mean a lot to them.

Share your blessings

You have been given so much, so share it with others every day and don’t wait for this time next year.Support worthy causes, help someone in a positive way simply by giving, and carefree nature you will inspire others.

Appreciate your loved ones

Tomorrow as you spend time with your loved ones, you can appreciate and fully accept them, no matter what their flaws are. We so often take people for granted only to miss them as soon as they have left. Many times loved ones leave and we wish we’d told them how much they mean to us. Show your loved ones you truly care for them every day and not just on a few special occasions each year. You don’t even have to make a grand gesture to show your appreciation. Sometimes all they want is some quality time with you and your full presence. Little things can make a big difference.

 

Regardless of your relationship, look for ways to contribute to others. In any situation, ask yourself: How can I help? How can I contribute here? Random acts of kindness are magical, and giving of yourself is one of the best joys of life Connect with people without wanting anything from them. Make at least one friendly phone call each day, with no intention to get some business or anything else just a friendly hello without any expectation.

And look for ways of bringing people together all year around, not just during holidays.

Stabilizer Levels

 

images (2)Understanding chlorine stabilizer is important.

Chlorine stabilizer or conditioner (cyanuric acid) is used in the maintenance of outdoor chlorine-maintained swimming pools. The stabilizer helps act against the UV rays. The purpose of the stabilizer is to help the chlorine last longer and prevent consumption of the chlorine. This helps the chlorine last longer and reduces consumption. A chemical test determines the cyanuric acid level. The typical cyanuric range is 20-40 PPM in northern areas, where southern areas are typically higher, 40-50 PPM. This difference occurs from the amount of sun exposure, with the southern areas receiving more sun.

If the levels of cyanuric acid are between 80-150 PPM, it is not ideal, but not considered a serious problem. However, if 150 PPM occurs, the effectiveness of chlorine is reduced and maintained is often required.

Generally speaking, you would like your swimming pool’s stabilizer level to be below 100 (80-100 range). Keep in mind that stabilizer allows your chlorine to hang around longer in the pool water.

This is especially important on hot summer days. UV of the mid-summer can quickly consume chlorine in the pool. One of the big advantages of a salt chlorinator is that it is constantly supplying chlorine and the rate can be increased during the high demand of the mid-summer season.

It is not a bad idea to drop the stabilizer level. Too much can lead to cloudy water and it also decreases the effectiveness of the chlorine (although you are not at those levels yet). There are some commercial municipalities that have increased maximum levels to as high as 200 ppm for public pools.

If you want to drain the pool, be VERY cautious not to take too much water out (no more than a foot!) also be sure that you do not have high ground water table.

Whenever draining a pool, it is REALLY important to stay by the pool whenever it is draining. Draining the pool too far and causing a hydrostatic heave can happen on ANY pool type: concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. Please proceed with extreme caution when draining water from your swimming pool.

Credits to: Dr. John Mullen

 

WHAT POOL DESIGN IS BEST FOR YOUR PROPERTY?

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SIZE, SHAPE, AND STYLE ARE IMPORTANT WHEN BUILDING    A SWIMMING POOL. HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO HELP YOU  DETERMINE WHAT DESIGN IS BEST FOR YOUR PROPERTY.

While being spontaneous can be a good thing, building your long-desired  swimming pool should not be left to chance. What is best for your property  will come from a number of inspirations. But before you get to this step,  consider what material will be best to construct the pool design you have in  mind.

There are three basic types of inground pools: concrete, vinyl, and f  Fiberglass. Each type of building material has its own set of pros and cons  when it comes to forming a shape and creating a style. Make sure the design you imagine for your pool can be fabricated in the material you want to use. Don’t hesitate to do your homework: research options, ask other pool owners, and interview prospective builders of all three types.

Concrete is the most accommodating material for crafting a pool shape and style: your imagination and your budget are its only limits. Ideal for any kind of custom design, you can further enhance your concrete pool with a finishing material like glass tile, colored plaster, or stone aggregate.

Vinyl, like concrete, is great for all types of swimming pool designs. The material and styles for vinyl-lined pools have advanced over the years; the number of patterns and colors are almost infinite, giving homeowners a large assortment to choose from for the look of the pool’s interior.

Built from pre-manufactured molds, fiberglass pools come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and styles, including popular designs like infinity pools. Fiberglass pool companies can further customize your project by adding ceramic tile, custom jets, mosaics, and other water features.

Once you have decided on the type of construction and chosen a professional builder, the next step is to flesh out the concept.

Infinity Pools-One of the most dramatic effects found in pool are Infinity pools Made to fool the viewer into believing that the pool flows over an edge into the neighboring vista However, a designer will also suggest an infinity pool for a property that is surrounded by natural lushness like wooded glens or palm tree groves.

Perimeter overflow pools-are an optical illusion that uses water to mimic mirrors and flat deck surfaces. Water overflows on all sides into a trough in the deck, functioning like a 360-degree vanishing edge. When viewed from overhead or from afar, the pool appears to be a flat surface on the deck. It is only when the wind or some other movement ripples the surface that the effect disappears.

Freeform pools-live up to their name: Because their contours do not have to obey the rules of geometry, they can become whatever the designer visualizes, making them ideal for most properties. Homes in natural, tropical, or rustic settings are exceptional candidates because freeform pools blend in seamlessly with their surroundings, morphing into the setting and appearing to be organic in origin. With imaginative landscaping, hardscaping, and lighting, a freeform pool can mimic a tropical lagoon, a secret oasis, or a tranquil waterway.

Kidney-shaped pool-Many pool designers use this pool shape as a foundation from which to build more elaborate structures. No matter the building material, they will add accents like natural coping, glass tile, colorful plaster, or a textured finish to customize the project for your property.

 

Photo credits: Houzz.com

Reasons to Remodel Your Pool

before-afterThere are so many ways and reasons to remodel your swimming pool. Perhaps you’ve had your pool for a while and Maybe you’ve fallen in love with a new pool tile and want to resurface it. Or possibly you’ve added a child or pet to the family and you are interested in remodeling with the latest safety features. Whatever your reason, a pool remodel can completely change the look of your swimming pool area.

If you have had your pool for a while and you are interested in upgrading the features, there are many things that you can add to update it. Consider adding water features such as waterfalls, fountain bubblers or deck jets. You can also add other features such as fire features, waterslides, rock walls, a hot tub or even lighting features.

Adding safety precautions is a great reason to remodel your pool area. You may need to add a pool fence or pool safety nets to protect children and pets. You will also want to be sure that you pool has the latest in anti-entrapment equipment to prevent hair, limbs or other body parts from being sucked toward the pool drain.

You might also want to remodel your pool for energy efficiency. If you have an older pump, you will want to upgrade to an energy efficient, variable speed pump, which will use 30-45% less than a standard pump. A pool cover can also keep your pool water warmer, saving energy costs to heat the pool. A cover will also reduce evaporation. Many people are also choosing to remodel by adding saltwater conversion. This more natural option will allow a homeowner to handle less chemicals and save money in the long run.

So, no matter the reason to remodel your pool, be sure to explore all of the options available to you and choose the best for your backyard, your home and your family.

Re-blog
credits to: Janel Evans

What to Do With Wrinkled Vinyl Swimming Pool Liners

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There are some chemical conditions that can cause a vinyl swimming pool liners to wrinkle. Wrinkles most often occur in swimming pool liners during the winter, when the swim pool is closed and the water level is lower.

How can you get the wrinkles out of vinyl swimming pool liners?

During the construction of a pool, the hole that is dug is slightly larger than the pool, and the dirt that is backfilled is not as compacted as the undisturbed soil around it. This can create a “bowl” which holds water for a while before that water is absorbed into the surrounding soil. When the level of this groundwater outside the vinyl lined swimming pool comes up to or is higher than the water in the swim pool, the vinyl liner is in a “floating” situation. As the water on the outside of the swim pool liner is absorbed into the soil, the liner is again pressed against the pool support structure, but not always like it was originally. The result? Wrinkles.

How can they be removed?

Groundwater often comes from the landscaping, surrounding the swimming pool, directing rain/snow runoff water under the pool deck and into the area around the pool. It is important that this be corrected by directing all runoff water away from the pool area. Check where your gutter downspouts direct the water.

If you have just removed the cover to your pool, and have not filled the pool with water yet, and you have found that the liner is “floating”, now is a good time to prevent wrinkles from forming. As you are adding water to the pool you will be able to move the liner around to position it as it should be as it begins to sit back against the walls and floor.

You can do this using a pole with the pool brush on the end or by padding the end of the pole with a rag. Do not push so hard that you poke a hole in your liner. You will need to “baby-sit” the filling process until the liner is firmly seated.

What if your pool is full and there are wrinkles in the liner? If there are only a few small wrinkles, you may be able to remove these by using a toilet plunger. By plunging around the wrinkle you can spread out the liner in that area thereby removing the wrinkle. Do not plunge directly on the wrinkle but rather just above, below, or to the side.

If the pool is full and there are too many wrinkles to plunge out or the wrinkles are so large as to be folded over we would strongly recommend calling in your local pool service professional. When the liner has folded over, it will most likely require draining the pool and resetting the liner to correct.

Anytime you drain a pool, there is the possibility of structural damage taking place. This is not the time to scrimp. You could lose the whole pool.

Credits to:  Woody McDowell

How To Paint Your Pool

maxresdefaultThe most important part of painting a pool is not choosing the right color. It’s the prep work.Far too often jobs are rushed. The surface is not properly prepared. This will lead to many problems down the road, many times within a few weeks.

 

There are three main types:

Epoxy Swimming Pool Paint

Pool epoxy paints are for new construction and pools painted previously with epoxy. It’s long lasting and durable. It will stand up to UV rays, chemical treatments and will last about 7 – 10 years.

Chlorinated Rubber Pool Paint Base

Rubber paint is not as expensive or durable, but is dependable, easy to use, and easy to apply. It will last for about 3 – 5 years.

Acrylic Pool Paint

This paint can be used for swimming pool restoration and swimming pool refinishing. It’s good on any type of surface, easy to apply, and cleans up with water. This type is ideal for commercial applications and fiberglass pool paint that need to be repainted on a regular basis. It last about 2 – 3 years. Whether you use a gunite pool paint, concrete pool paint, or fiberglass, it’s important to follow manufacturer’s instructions and recommended safety guidelines to make sure you prepare the pool properly. This is the most important step in how to paint a pool.

Swimming Pool Paint Common Problems

Fading-You can lighten up the surface with a very light acid wash. The acid will remove any dirt that can dull a paint job. After cleaning the pool, rinse well and refill the pool. A 5:1 ratio of acid and water is a good mixture.

Chalking-This can result in dull and hazy water. It can also lead to a white powdery residue that easily can rub off. To avoid this, water chemistry and maintenance are the key. Keep your pool total alkalinity between 80 – 120ppm. If the pool alkalinity is too low the pool paint can rub off. Constant shock treatments will also chalk up the swimming pool paint. Keep your pool chemistry correct. Use liquid chlorine or bleach.

Bubbles and/or Blisters-This is caused by improper preparation. For DIY pool resurfacing, the paint must be applied to a clean dry surface. If applied too thick, if the surface is too hot, and if the pool is not cleaned properly, the pool paint might blister. The only remedy is to repaint the pool or the blistered spots.

 

 

What is a Competion Pool?

A Competion Pool is an Olympic-size swimming pool is the type of swimming pool used in the Olympic Games, where the race course is 50 meters in length. This is typically referred to as “long course”, distinguishing it from “short course” which applies to competitions in pools that are 25 meters (82.0 ft) in length. If touch panels are used in competition This means that Olympic pools are generally oversized, to accommodate touch panels used in competition.

Here are some Frequent Asked Questions from People:

  • How wide is a lane in a swimming pool?
  • How long is an Olympic size pool?
  • How long is the average lap pool?
  • How long is a swimming pool?
  • What is the Olympic size swimming pool gallons of water?
  • How deep is an Olympic size swimming pool?

Swimming Pools

A swimming pool, swimming bath, wading pool, or paddling pool is a container that is filled with water to enable swimming or other leisure activities. Pools can be sunk into the ground or built above ground, and are also a standard feature aboard ocean liners and cruise ships. In-ground pools are most commonly constructed from materials such as concrete, natural stone, metal, plastic or fiberglass, and can be of a custom size and shape or built to a standardized size, the largest of which is the Olympic-size swimming pool.

There are different types of pool but this are the basic types:

PRIVATE POOLS

Private Swimming Pool

Private pools are usually smaller than public pools. Many countries now have strict pool fencing requirements for private swimming pools, which require pool areas to be isolated so that unauthorized children younger than six years cannot enter. Many countries require a similar level of protection for the children residing in or visiting the house, although many pool owners prefer the visual aspect of the pool in close proximity to their living areas, and will not provide this level of protection.

CHILDREN’S POOL

Childrens Swimming Pool

They are used mostly outdoors in yards, are typically shallow, and often their sides are inflated with air to stay rigid. When finished, the water and air can be let out and this type of pool can be folded up for convenient storage. They are regarded in the swimming pool as “splasher” pools intended for cooling off and amusing toddlers and children, not for swimming, but the alternate name of “kiddie” pools.

 

PUBLIC POOLS

Public pools are often part of a larger leisure concern or recreational complex. These concerns often have more than one pool, such as an indoor heated pool, an outdoor pool which may be hot or cold , a shallower children’s pool, and a paddling pool for toddlers and infants.