Why is my pool cloudy?
Filtration. Pool pumps and filters must be run a minimum of 8 to 10 hours in the summer and 6 to 8 hours in the winter, to ensure proper distribution of chemicals as well as effective removal of dirt and debris from the pool water. Pool water circulation is very important when trying to maintain a clear and clean pool.
Algae. The first stage of an algae bloom is a clouding of the pool water before the algae takes on it's familiar green color. If an initial test of the pool water reveals a lack of sanitizer, immediately add a chlorine based sanitizer to the pool and lengthen the run time of the pump for the next 24 hours. It is also very important that you bring the water in to get tested so that we can find out what is causing algae. Algae occurs mostly when the water is not balanced correctly. Shocking the pool is very important, however it is also very important to find the cause of the algae. Algae can be caused by not having enough stabilizer in the water which will cause the chlorine to evaporate rapidly leaving your pool without a sanitizer to prevent algae. Algae can also be cause by having a filter that is more than a year old that is not able to keep up with proper filtration. Even if you clean your filter weekly, once a filter exceeds the 12 month average it is just not able to do its job. It is very important to replace your pool or spa filter at least once a year. Shocking a pool, weekly enzyme treatments, clarifiers, scale preventatives and a wide variety of pool maintenance chemicals will also contribute to shortening the life span of your pools filter. Your pool filter plays a huge roll in keeping your pool clean, clear and balanced.
Unbalanced Water. If the pool water has a high pH or high total alkalinity, it can cause a cloudy appearance. Adjust the pH and alkalinity to the appropriate levels and adjust the pump to run a longer cycle for the next 24 hours. There are also great products that you can use to prevent your water chemistry from fluctuating as often. We carry an great product by Pool Style called Seasonal Head Start. This product is only added twice a year to your pool giving it a remarkable, crystal clear appearance. It will also soften the water and prevent pH and alkalinity spikes. This product is outstanding at keeping your water chemistry balanced which will result in reducing your annual costs on chemical purchases.
Environmental factors. High winds and heavy rains may sometimes dispense microscopic dust and pollen into your pool. In these instances a water clarifier is a proven product in removing unwanted contaminates from your pool. These products act in conjunction with your pool filter to remove dust, dirt and pollen from the water, leaving it crisp and clear.
How do I remove algae from my pool?
Green algae. If the pool has turned green from a lack of sanitizer, an immediate "shock" of the pool is needed. Whether you use liquid or powdered chlorine, a double dose is needed in order to kill off the algae. Larger algae blooms may require more work. In these instances, bring a sample of your pool water into one of our stores for a complete analysis.
Black Algae. Black algae requires a little more work than green algae. You'll notice small black dots showing up on your pool surface, this is usually black algae. Black algae is a highly resistant strand of algae that requires a thorough brushing with a steel brush (not to be used on vinyl or fiberglass pools). Once brushed you will need to add a granular tri-chlor product to the pool in the affected areas. Black algae can be removed however it is very important to follow the removal methods closely as not to have them come back. Black algae removal can become very costly if ignored and can cause long term damage to your pools surface. Stop by any of our seven locations and one of our pool experts will provide you with step by step instructions on how to get rid of that black algae for good.
Why is my pool not circulating like it used to?
Clogged filter. Cartridge filters are prone to clogging and should be cleaned every two weeks with a high pressure hose nozzle and chemically cleaned every three months to prevent scale and calcium buildup. Buildup hampers the ability of the filter to effectively clean the pool. Cartridge filters should be replaced every year in order to maintain proper filtering of your pool.
DE (Diatomaceous Earth) Filter. With DE filters, you should replace old DE powder in the filter with fresh DE powder if you notice a loss of water circulation or a loss of water clarity.
Sand Filters. A simple backwash of your system will usually loosen the sand in the filter, thereby releasing pressure from the system. Remember to change the sand in your filter every five years to maintain proper pool filtration.
O-Rings and Gaskets. Check the o-rings on your pump and filter to ensure they are functioning properly. Any dry, cracked, stretched or compressed o-rings should be replaced with new o-rings and installed with a Teflon lubricant approved for pool use.
Do I have a leak?
The easiest way to determine if your pool or spa is leaking is to perform a "bucket test". First place a five gallon bucket half filed with pool water on your first or second step. Second mark the water level inside the bucket.Then turn off your pool and allow the water to settle to mark the pool water on the outsideof the bucket. Next leave the pool in normal operation for 24-48 hrs. Finally if the water inside the bucket has dropped as much as the water in the pool there is no leak in your pool. P.S. If it rains restart the test.
What is the easiest way to maintain my swimming pool?
The best way to keep your pool looking it's best is to test and balance your pool weekly. Bring your pool water into our stores to be professionally tested. There is no cost to test your pool or spa water and we will provide you with a print out of your complete water chemistry. Not only do we provide complimentary water testing, we keep a complete record of all of your water testing with us. Proper water chemistry is very important because unbalanced water can cause severe damage to your pool surface as well as the pool equipment as well. Maintaining a perfectly balanced pool is not as hard as it may seem. The pool becomes difficult to maintain when the water becomes unbalanced. An unbalanced pool can cause the pool owner to over compensate with other chemicals just to keep their pool blue. Not having a balanced pool can also cause discomfort to anyone swimming in the pool. Severely unbalanced water can actually make a person very sick. This is why all public pools are monitored closely by the state and are required to maintain specific chemical levels. These levels are checked two to three times a week.
What is a Variable Speed Pump? Why should I switch?
When we talk about pool renovations, repairs and retrofits that reduce a pool's energy consumption, the focus typically turns to the pump, because it consumes more energy than any other piece of pool equipment. Plus, a well-designed variable-speed pump can reduce the energy costs of running a swimming pool by up to 90 percent.
Why? Historically, pool pumps with induction motors that run at only one or two speeds have drawn more energy than is required to circulate pool water. That is because a pump that can run at only one speed must use a powerful enough speed to do the pump's most demanding job (e.g., running a waterfall or pool cleaner). However, it takes far less power to simply keep water filtered—a difference single-speed pumps cannot address.
Most variable-speed pumps can be programmed to operate at set speeds to deliver the correct flow for each task they perform, such as operating a suction-side pool cleaner, waterfalls or spa jets. Some pumps have built-in constant-flow software, which maximizes the advantages of variable-speed technology; constant-flow pumps automatically adjust their speed and deliver the required flow for each programmed task. For example, an arcing laminar water feature may need 40 gallons per minute (gpm) to produce a smooth 6-ft arc of water. A constant-flow pump can sense the resistance being added to the system as the filter collects dirt and will automatically speed up so the water feature continues to get the amount of water it needs. With other types of pumps, including some variable-speed pumps, the water feature will gradually throw a shorter arc of water as the filter gets dirtier; it will only be restored to its original appearance after the filter is cleaned.
No matter what kind of pump is being used, slower pump speeds save energy. They also dramatically reduce the noise level associated with traditional pool pumps and reduce wear on not only the pump itself but also on filters, heaters, chlorinators and other equipment that water flows through.
Even with all of these advantages, the price tag of these technologically advanced pumps may at first seem hard to justify. But compare the cost of a new variable-speed pump with the cost of doing nothing.
If a pool uses a single-speed pump, it may cost $900 per year to run that pump. (Numbers will vary by region.) After five years, the owners will have spent $4500 running that pump. Meanwhile, in a well-designed system with a variable-speed pump, the comparable operational costs may be as little as $200 per year. So at the end of five years, the dollars spent running the pump will be about $1000, less than 1/4 what would have been spent running the old single-speed pump. The cost savings continue to multiply the longer the new pump is used.
Bottom line: the initial cost of a variable-speed pump can be recouped in year two.
Call East Coast Pool Supply today and start saving right away! 561-694-7577
By Jeff Farlow
Program Manager - Energy Initiatives
Excerpt from an article that appeared in The Edge.
If you're still experiencing problems, please contact us with any questions or problems so friendly members of our staff can give you guidance. Click here to find our convenient 6 South Florida Locations close to you!