Tips to Keep a Sparkling Clean Pool

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Cloudy water?
There are several things that you can easily do to discover why your pool has cloudy water

  • Check to make sure the pH levels are in proper range
  • Check the pool filter. Clean or replace if needed.
  • Check the pool sanitizer’s level. If it’s low, raise the level.
  • Call your Woodlands Pool Builder for additional help for chlorine stabilization, alkalinity, calcium hardness and heavy metals.

Test frequently
Depending on your usage, you should test the water frequently. Some users test the pH and chlorine every other day – others test once a week. During heavy usage and summer months, you can perform a daily test. And anytime you notice a change in water quality, get your test kit out and check the water quality.

When to clean, when to replace
Periodic backwashing will remove most dirt from a clean filter; however, over a period of time, grease, oils and scale can attack and build up on the elements. When this occurs, you should clean or replace your filter depending on the type of filter. NOTE: Check the filter if water is murky or water quality decreases.

Water clarifiers
A clarifier is designed to aid efficient filter operation by coagulating most materials that cause cloudy and hazy water. Because the presence of these materials increases the disinfectant demand, the use of a water clarifier can decrease pool maintenance costs.

Why filtration is important
Filtration is the mechanical way to remove visible matter from the water. The filter medium is designed to remove hair, dirt, tiny skin flakes, metal or calcium precipitates and other visible debris that would otherwise cause the water to be hazy and cloudy.

What does “Vacuum to Waste” mean?
When you “Vacuum to Waste” you are pumping the debris you vacuum out of the pool and sending the water to the waste line, and not through the pool filter. This method removes a large amount of water from the pool in a short time, so be sure the pool is full before you begin. Vacuum to waste is used for large amounts of debris and dirt.

The proper way to get rid of algae
First, you must add the algaecide according to the directions. If you don’t add the correct dosage amount, it won’t kill any of the algae. Also know that using the entire bottle of algaecide is ineffective. Not only will you spend additional money, large doses can lead to staining and foaming in your pool.

In addition to properly dosing your water, it is also recommended that the algaecide be added in the morning on a bright, sunny day for best results. Algae grow in the presence of sunlight. Adding algaecide during algae’s best growth time will increase intake of the algaecide and make it more effective. If black algae is present, brushing the algae at least once daily will also help expedite algae removal. Brushing the dead cells away makes the living algae more vulnerable to the algaecide.

Shock Treatment
Pool water composition always includes some undesirable elements that actually contaminate the water and reduce the efficiency of the disinfectant or sanitizer. Materials such as hair spray, suntan oil, cosmetics, perspiration and other organic material react to combine with the chlorine in the water to form “combined chlorine.”

Once “combined chlorine” forms, it acts as a very poor disinfectant, contributing to eye and skin irritations and the forming of unpleasant chlorine odor. Pools with this problem are often inaccurately accused of having too much chlorine.

Routine shock treatment is necessary to destroy combined chlorine compounds and restore the chlorine sanitizer to “free chlorine” efficiency. A pool can be shock treated by adding large doses of chlorine, commonly referred to as superchlorination, or by adding a non-chlorine shock such as GLB OXY-BRITE or Applied Biochemists SHOCKTRINE.

Knock out the chlorine smell
Most pools contain both good chlorine and bad chlorine. The good chlorine is called free chlorine and is capable of killing germs. Bad chlorine, on the other hand, is called “combined chlorine” and is a poor germ killer.

Too much combined chlorine in your pool causes the strong chlorine odor. When the combined chlorine level reaches 0.2 ppm or more, it is time to shock your water. Shocking will eliminate the odor.

How long before I can jump in?
With the exception of superchlorinating (which requires waiting until the chlorine level drops to recommended levels), you generally can use your pool when the chemical is dispersed. Fifteen minutes to one hour should be about right.

Protect Your Pool from Freeze Damage

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Inground Swimming Pools
If your area is subject to frequent hard freezes…make sure the pool is clean and clear prior to closing.
Properly balance pool water. Also add shock treatment (chlorinated or non-chlorinated).

Lower the water level to below the skimmer.

Clear pipes and equipment of water using a blower or compressor and plug the pipes at the pool.

Add swimming pool antifreeze to the lines to prevent freezing.

Place a Gizzmo* (or similar device) in the skimmer to seal it and absorb pressure from ice. Ask your local Pool Retailer for more details on the Gizzmo for your skimmer.

Install your safety cover or winter tarp cover using water tubes to secure.

In milder climates…
Make sure that the pump is running during periods of below freezing temperatures.

Keep the water properly balanced and sanitized throughout the off-season months.

Some pool owners also choose to install a Winter Cover or Safety Cover.

Pool Fact: Pumps should be kept running during freezing temperatures or completely drained during the winter to avoid a risk of damage to the pump, filter, heater, pipes, and any other in-line equipment.

Above Ground Swimming Pools
Properly balance pool water. Also add shock treatment (chlorinated or non-chlorinated).

When preparing to winterize the pool, do not drain water below the recommended level. NEVER DRAIN POOL COMPLETELY.

Lower the water level to below the skimmer opening and plug return(s) in the pool. Install the skimmer faceplate cover.

Clear pipes and equipment of water and insulate them. Remove and store your pump.

Install the air pillow and then the pool cover.

Store your pump, hoses, and other in-line equipment that can be removed.

Common reasons why above ground pool walls could collapse or fail:
The skimmer catches water which then freezes, causing the skimmer to become too heavy for the wall to support. This eventually causes the wall(s) to collapse.

An ice expansion pushes out against the walls, causing the walls to buckle under the immense pressure and weight of the ice.

Spa Fact: Spas are designed to run and be enjoyed throughout the winter months. However, it is recommended that you lower the water temperature when the spa is not in use.

Recommended Products:
Freezing can create costly damages to your swimming pool or spa. The best way to protect your pool or spa from freeze damage is to prevent it from happening. Properly winterizing your pool and following these tips can prevent freeze damage from destroying your backyard paradise. We recommend the following products to aid you in your freeze damage prevention.

Winterizing Kits for correct chemical balance throughout the winter months and protection of all non-mechanical elements of your swimming pool.

Blowers clear pipes and equipment of water prior to being plugged and insulated to protect them from the elements.

Skimmer Faceplate Covers prevent your skimmer from retaining water which can freeze and possibly damage the pool wall.

Gizzmos are designed for inground skimmer ice expansion protection.

Water Tubes and Air Pillows are used under winter covers for ice expansion prevention.

Balancing and Shock Chemicals or Anti-Freeze

Blower/Compressor

Winter Plugs

Pool Caulk Damage—Replace or Repair?

Pool Caulk DamageIf you live in an area of the country that reaches freezing temperatures, pool caulking can help prevent freezing water cycles (or extreme heat) that can damage the foundation of your pool. But when and why should you replace it, and how often do you need to repair it?

Why and When Pool Caulking Needs Your Attention 

As a rule of thumb, you should plan on repairing your pool caulk about every five years. Some areas of your pool caulk can wait until about ten years, but you want to keep an eye on it—neglecting fractured pool calking can cause pulling away and cracking that can become very expensive to fix. If only a small part or section of the pool calking needs to be fixed, it’s not difficult to do by yourself. Use a sharp razor knife, and cut out the section that needs to be replaced, and fill it with new caulk. Just keep in mind that the new caulk will have a brighter color than the old, original caulk (which will appear duller in appearance.)

Is It Necessary to Hire a Professional?

If you’re  repairing pool caulk for the first time, stick to a self-leveling pool caulk. This is much easier for amateur do-it-yourselfers than caulk such as gun grade caulking  follow these guidelines so it’s as smooth of a process as possible:

  • Measure how much caulk you will actually need, and then purchase extra.
  • Invest in a high quality razor knife. Carefully cut out the section that you want to replace.
  • Make sure that the joint and deck are clean. Before adding new caulk, remove any dirt or debris from the area.
  • Keep your children and pets away from the pool. Many amateur DIY’s find that the process is going well, only to find little paw prints in their newly applied wet caulking!

Replacing or repairing pool caulk doesn’t have to be a different process, even if you’re doing it yourself. It does require the right equipment and material, and a smooth hand when replacing the new caulk. Whether you want to replace the pool caulking yourself, or you are interesting in hiring a processional

 

#Reblog

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

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.

Why Should I Fence in My Pool?

When small children will be in the yard, a fence is vital for safety reasons. Being able to lock up the entire pool area gives you peace of mind and could potentially save lives. Don’t think just because you don’t have children you can forego a safety fence. If neighborhood kids find their way into your pool area, even if you warned them to stay out, in some areas on the basis of negligence you could be held responsible for any injuries that occur.
Besides safety, the right fence design can also provide you with privacy. A full privacy fence is usually six feet or higher, with boards arranged in an overlapping, shadow box, or tongue-and-groove pattern. Board-on-board fences like the shadow box offer you the advantage of being able to show finished faces on both sides. That is, they look just as good from the inside of the garden as from the outside. Stockade and tongue-and-groove fences are also popular constructions for full privacy. Lattice or basket-weave fence are other options. These fences are made with strips of material, such as wood or wood-styled vinyl, woven together. They offer semi-privacy, allowing air and light to pass between the boards, yet blocking your pool area from full view. If the look of a bare fence is too stark for your taste, you can soften the fence’s appearance by training climbing vines over it. This will also add a little more privacy.

Let’s Have a Pool Party!

pool-party-iOK, it’s party time. The most fun you could ever have around your pool is when you have guests and are entertaining.  It is the perfect time to show off your pool  from Pools by Design your Woodlands Pool Builder . The key here is preparation.  Invitations, menus, helpers, pool, and yard will all need to be taken care of in advance.  The more you do ahead of time, the more time you will have to enjoy the party.  Start about a month before the party. Make a list of who you want to come. We can’t give any advice here.  But too many people would not only be unsafe, but we want enough room for eating, swimming, and just lying around.

So, here are a few tips for the pool party, and believe me, we’ve been to hundreds.

1)   Invites. Get something fun. Hand made invitations are cool, and personal. Another quicker, cheaper option is using evite.com to send out invitations. *** Remind everyone to bring a towel and swimming suite.

2)   Recruit. Get some help. The best parties were planned with several people. Get some helpers. Johnny does the food, Karin gets the liquor, and Steve gets the ice. And be sure to get a name or two for clean up. The end of the night is always the hardest to recruit help, so ask for clean up help before the party. You don’t need to clean the whole yard, but you will need to secure the trash, leftover food and such.

3)   Food. Decisions, decisions. You could go all out, roast a pig, smoked chicken. Or, keep it simple. Finger sandwiches, fruit bowl, or just burgers and dogs. The more “self serve food” you offer, the more time you have for fun. But, remember, the first thing people usually remember about a party, is the food. Give your guests something to talk about and remember. It’s not too hard to do!

4)   Drinks. You can’t have a good pool party without good beverages. But, an open bar can mean a disaster. If everyone is allowed to mix their own beverages, there is always someone who can ruin it for the rest of the guests. If alcohol is served, serve responsible, or serve beer and wine in moderation. Remember, Alcohol use is involved in about 35% to 50% of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation. And please don’t let guests who drink, drive. Call your local cab company in advance and set up an account for the evening.

5)  Safety. This one is easy. Call your local swimming pool management company, and hire a lifeguard or two for the event. It’s not expensive, and well worth it. If someone has had too much to drink, keep them away from the pool. Things we all take for granted like diving boards, slides and just jumping off the side of the pool, can pose a threat to those impaired, and everyone else trying to have a good time. Keep safety equipment handy, and ALWAYS keep a working phone dry, and near the pool.

6)   The Pool.  A week or so before the party, test everything pool related. (The lights, the heater, and the fountains) Make sure any electrical outlets that will be used are grounded. Trip hazards, excess patio and lawn furniture should be stored, or moved away from the pool deck, to allow easy access to the pool. Add a clarifier to the pool several days before the party. Small unfiltered particles are very easy to see at night with the pool light on, so take that extra step to get your pool as clear as possible. And make sure the pH and chlorine are adjusted. A chlorine residual of 3.0 is perfect.   The morning of the party, brush the pool and then vacuum an hour later. Remove your automatic pool cleaner and store it away for the party. Polaris parts are not cheap!

7)   The Party!  The moment we’ve all been waiting forParty time!  Got enough Tiki torch fuel? Ice? Soda? Make that last minute run to the store and you should be set. With proper preparation, all of the chores are done, and it’s time to party. So, fire up the grill, and ice down the punch. It’s your turn to relax.

Swimming Lessons: Stop the Crying!

the-swim-professorScreaming, crying, rolling on the floor—we’ve seen it all Sometimes it takes all that you have to keep it together when your child is throwing a fit about going to swimming lessons. This behavior is normal.

For some kids, the water can be a big and frightening place. It’s a completely new sensory experience. Top that off with the fact that some kids go through separation anxiety when leaving their parents, and it’s easy to see why the water can sometimes be an overwhelming and foreign world.

It’s important to remember, though, that each child develops water confidence and comfort at his or her own rate. That being said, if your child is still crying, there are some things you can do that will help the process along and finally grant you sweet, excited silence:

  • Stay in the observation room – If you’ve ever been to daycare, this part can sometimes to the hardest for parents. The parental instinct to nurture will really kick in here, but you need to teach your child to trust those whom you place him/her with and that you will return.
  • Offer continued support and encouragement – Though it can be a process, try and offer continuous encouragement to your child. Explain to him/her the benefits of the learning how to swim and that, after a while, it becomes fun.
  • Reinforce desired behaviors – Sometimes all it takes is some good ol’ reinforcement. Your child is a parent-pleaser at heart. Rewarding or encouraging enthusiasm for the pool may inch your child to water independence.
  • Practice skills at home in the bathtub or pool – Practice (not necessarily perfect at first) makes comfort! Working at home with your child will undoubtedly begin to instill trust in the water and a confidence in his/her skills.

What should you NOT do?

  • Offer bribes for attending lessons – Bribing a child to attend swimming lessons reinforces a negative association with water and the learning process…and that’s something you definitely want to avoid in the long-run.
  • Discontinue lessons altogether – Swimming lessons are, first and foremost, about safety. Discontinuing lessons is detrimental for a child’s development. Swimming is an essential skill for water safety and sometimes, survival.
  • Allow your anxiety to show through your child – We know the crying can get frustrating, but the last thing your child needs is an added dose of anxiety to compound his/her own.