Monday, October 19, 2015

LaMotte 2056 ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Water Test Kit

The ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Photometer Pool
Water Test Kit is a very accurate and easy to use test kit for your pool water chemistry.

One of the best features is that it takes the guess work out of water testing. It uses a digital photometer to give you a precise readout of the test results. A photometer is an instrument for measuring the intensity of light, so the ColorQ will scan the reagent sample and that is how it gets the digital results.

This video details how the ColorQ Pro7 works and I also touch on some of the nice features of this particular test kit:

The ColorQ Pro 7 is a very versatile tester as it will check your pool or spa for all of the main test factors. So if you are a homeowner or a pool service professional it is the only test you will need. It comes with enough reagents for 144 test and 100 tablets for CYA testing. 

The price range is higher than most testers mainly because of the ColorQ unit itself. Since it is a digital photometer there are some cost involved. But it comes with a one year warranty and has proven to be very durable and long lasting - some pool guys have the same unit after several years of continuous use. I like the ease of use with this kit. It is so simple anyone can use it to get accurate test results.

This video will detail how to use the ColorQ Pro 7 as I run it through all of the test factors:

I guess the main question then is how accurate is the ColorQ unit itself? After field testing it and comparing it with another digital tester you can see it is extremely accurate. I tested the Total Chlorine and the pH against the LaMotte Tracer and the results were excellent. Near the middle of the video here you will see me matching the results of the ColorQ against the Tracer. The Tracer Total Chlorine probe has a margin of error of +/- 10%,  so in the video you can see both readings from the ColorQ and Tracer match up well. The Tracer has a margin of error in the pH probe of +/- 0.1 pH. The results also matched up good in the test.

So the ColorQ Pro 7 has many great features. It is easy to use, accurate and reliable. If you absorb the higher price point then I would suggest purchasing one for sure.

You can learn more on my website:!lamotte-test-kits-and-digital-testers/c18dj

Friday, October 9, 2015

Which Automatic Cleaner is right for my pool? Robotic, Suction, Pressure or Return Side Cleaner?

I get asked this question often on my website and YouTube channel and my answer depends on many factors which I will go over a little in this article.

 My answer will vary from person to person but  there are some general rules in choosing a cleaner.  The most pressing questions are how much will a  good cleaner cost and will it clean my pool  effectively?

 The price between the different cleaner types vary  widely so it is better to focus on the price point in  each category of cleaner. The most expensive  cleaner types are the Robotic cleaners followed by  the Pressure Side cleaners and the most affordable  cleaners are the suction side cleaners.

Robotic Cleaners:

A good Robotic cleaner with all the bells and whistles will run you over $1,500 in most cases. Quite an investment but you do get a good return for your money. Today's robotic cleaners are much improved over the 1st generation which came out a few years ago. The motors are more reliable and longer lasting, they can now clean the walls and tile line and there are added features like a programmable cleaning cycle, remote control and an anti-tangle cord swivel. Most of the higher end Robotic cleaners come with a 2 or 3 year warranty. They are that well built and reliable and the manufacturer can offer the longer warranty since it is unlikely you will have to use it.

Some of the benefits of a Robotic Cleaner are:

It runs independent from your pool system which means your filtration system stays cleaner and it doesn't matter if your equipment is old or not  functioning well.

There are no hoses to worry about and once you
are done cleaning the pool you can remove the Robotic cleaner and store it.

They clean the pool very well in most cases -the more expensive models will even clean the tile

The Hayward Aquavac 500 is great choice with 
just enough features to make it exceptional but keeping the price arond $1,000.

The negative factors are a high price point in most cases and the need to send it out for service vs fixing any problems yourself. Most now come with at least a 2 year warranty so that is not a deal breaker. They are highly reliable and effective pool cleaners.

Aquabot makes a line of affordable Robotic cleaners which retail for under $400 like the Aqaubot Rapids seen here in this video. Aquabot offers a 2 year warranty on their cleaners and
 for the price they are surprisingly well made 
and clean the pool very well. If you are on a
 budget or don't feel like spending a $1,000, 
then looking into one of these lower priced
Robotic cleaners would be a good option for you. 

 If money is not a factor then you may want to
 get a  top of the line Robotic cleaner like the Polaris  9550 Sport. This one has it all. A S
even day  programmable timer that can be set for up to 3  weeks. A remote control that is very responsive  and a very sturdy cart. The 9550
 sport cleans the  pool exceptionally well all
 the way up to the tile  line. It also has a cool function where it will come  to the side of the 
wall with a push of the button  and climb up
 to be taken out. A first class robotic  cleaner
 all around. 

Pressure Side and Return Side Cleaners:
Pressure Side cleaners are extremely effective. 
They have a large debris opening and a large bag
on top for debris. They can clean a large pool
in 2-  3 hours or less. The drawbacks are that
they need a  separate booster pump installed
and a dedicated  return line. So usually Pressure Cleaners are  installed when the pool is
constructed or  remodeled.

 Polaris makes some of the best Pressure side      cleaners on the market like the 3900 Sport.

I have several pressure cleaners on my pool route and they leave the pools spotless each week. If
 you  are having your pool built or remodeled maybe consider a Pressure Cleaner.

The Pentair Racer is the Premier Pressure Side cleaner. It works so well that it will clean your pool faster than any other Pressure cleaner on
 the market. It has a huge debris bag and is powered by an extra wide feed hose allowing
 for more water flow to the cleaner. There is an internal back-p valve so no water shooting out 
of the hose and it has extra large front tires to maneuver effectively around your pool. A great choice.

 The Return Side cleaner is a great option if you  have a newer pool with 1 1/2" threaded return  lines. This cleaner connects right into your existing  return lines and works much like a Pressure cleaner  with the exception that no booster pump is needed.  I have these on several accounts and love them.

 The Polaris 360 is the premier Return side 
cleaner  and is the most popular of them all.

The only major drawback is that since you need to   restrict one or more return jets to generate         sufficient pressure the skimming action of the
 pool is reduced. It is not a deal breaker but something to be aware of. So if you have lots
of large debris in your pool and think a
Pressure Side cleaner would work, try  a non-booster pump Return side cleaner as an
alternative to remodeling your pool.

The Hayward Poolcleaner Return side cleaner 
is a great option for you. The hoses are long lasting and it has a large debris bag on top, 
plus a well designed gear system that turns the cleaner in your pool to give you the most coverage. It is a great engineered product
that will effectively clean your pool each week. 

Suction Side Cleaners:

This is the most familiar type of cleaner to most consumers and the most popular type. A suction cleaner works off of your pools existing pump and attached to the skimmer or a side/ vacuum port in your pool. Depending on the pool and type of 
debris this can be the most effective and cost effective cleaner type for you. Most suction side cleaners retail for $400 or less.

The Voyager by IPP retails for close to $100 
and is a very effective cleaner. It is well
engineered and backed by a three year warranty
on the body.

 The Suction side cleaner is the one most popular  on my pool route as they are affordable, effective and there are a lot of different models to chose from. In most cases I will suggest a good suction side cleaner since they are also easy to set up and easy to repair when something breaks.

The Hayward AqauNaut is the top sction side cleaner on the market. It is designed based off 
of the PoolCleaner by Poolvergnuegen which Hayward purchased in 2013. It is a virtually flawless design and it will leave your pool
 spotless each week. You can also purchase
 the Hayward Poolcleaner or Hayward Phoenix 
as all three are the same cleaner with different body color and design only.

So I hope this article and the videos have proved helpful as you make a decision on which automatic cleaner is best for your pool. You can post a question and I will be happy to answer it for you.

To learn more please visit my website:!top-automatic-pool-cleaners-of-2015/ccs6

Friday, August 7, 2015

ORP, What is it and Should I Test for it in my Pool?

What is ORP?

ORP stands for oxidation-reduction potential and it basically measures the effectiveness of the sanitizer (usually Chlorine) in your swimming pool. ORP can also be used for Bromine and Ozone as well as other Oxidizing sanitizers.

ORP is widely used in Eurpoe as the standard for safety in swimming pools. The US is slow to adopt this standard and still use PPM of Free Chlorine as the standard. ORP is a proven method of safety in water and has a long track record dating back over 40 years.

So do you need to test for it? It depends. If you are a pool service professional you should test for ORP at your commercial accounts and some heavily used residential accounts. If you are a homeowner and want to be 100% certain your pool is safe to swim in, then getting an ORP tester is not a bad idea.

You can basically keep your sanitizer effective by keeping a Free Chlorine level of 2-3 ppm, keeping the pH at 7.2-7.6 and having your Cyanuric Acid (Conditioner) at  30 ppm to 100 ppm. The main factor is the pools pH. Chlorine is much more effective at lower levels and if the pH is over 8.0 most of the chlorine in the pool will be ineffective. The fast acting form of chlorine HOCI works best at lower pH and it is converted to a slower acting sanitizer (OCI) at high pH levels. HOCI is 80 to 300 times more effective than OCI.

But keeping your pH at those ideal levels can sometimes be challenging. Certain sanitizers like liquid chlorine can raise the pH, low Alkalinity can cause the pH to bounce, not check the pH weekly and a Salt Water Generator will raise the pH. So testing the ORP is a good way to tell is the chlorine is working effectively in a pool.

A good ORP reading for a pool is from 650 mV to 750 mV. If you test tap water the ORP is in the 300 range, safe for drinking but it won't kill any pathogens. Studies have shown that an ORP level of 650 mV or higher will kill just about anything in a mater of seconds, even milliseconds. An ORP level under 500 mV will take one hour or more to kill the pathogens. So the ORP level is important in determining if a pool is safe to swim in.


Technically ORP is not designed to replace a PPM chlorine test. Yes a low PPM will translate into a low ORP number and a high PPM will be reflected in a high ORP number, but it is always important to know the PPM of Free Chlorine in your pool. The DPD and OTO test kits will only show you the amount of Free Chlorine in your pool, and not the effectiveness of the chlorine. The ORP tester will test for the effectiveness of the chlorine or sanitizer in the water. There is a difference and it should be noted. Even with a Free Chlorine reading of 3.0 PPM the chlorine can be ineffective if the pH is really high and the ORP test will reflect this. A reagent test kit cannot determine if the chlorine actually is working in the water. There is also no way to translate the ORP reading into PPM as they test for two different things in the pool water.

Again let me stress that ORP is more important in a commercial pools and a residential pool that gets heavy use. But all the same if you feel better  knowing your pool is 100% safe invest in an ORP tester.

I recommend the HACH brand ORP Tester. HACH has been making industrial and scientific water testing devices for over 60 years. To learn more about the HACH Testers visit their website:

To learn more about ORP watch this video:

Here are some good articles on ORP:

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Power Vac PV2100 Portable Professional Swimming Pool Vacuum Cleaner

If I say "Appomattox Court House," would you know what I was referring to? Some might know that this is where General Lee surrendered the Southern Army to General Grant. This is a common mistake pool manufacturers make when they try to market their products. If I told 100 pool guys starting out in the business to define the "Power Vac PV2100 Portable Professional Swimming Pool Vacuum Cleaner," chances are those that could answer this would be about the same percentage who would know what happened at the "Appmattox Court House."

So I will unpack the Power Vac model PV2100 for you in this article so you will know exactly what it is and why I would highly recommend it to you.

In the video below I liken the Power Vac PV2100 to a Robotic Pool Cleaner, a portable pool pump, a manual vacuum and a Leafbagger. So let me explain this in some detail. The Power Vac is similar to a Robotic cleaner in that it operates with a powerful motor and propeller - 35 lb. of thrust. It also uses a cord but it is not plugged into an outlet but into a 12V 35AH battery. The Power Vac is like a portable pool pump as it works independent from the pools filtration system. However, water is not expelled from the pool, it just works separate from the pool equipment. It is like a manual pool vacuum since you move it around the pool in much the same way, vacuuming up leaves, sand. dirt and debris. And it is like a Leafbagger as it has a large capacity bag on top and can pick up very large debris. But no garden hose is needed and the Power Vac is much more powerful. So imagine all four of these products in one machine and you will have a good idea of what the Power Vac PV2100 is all about.

POWER VAC PV2100 review video:

The Power Vac PV2100 is a great way to maximize your time out in the field. You simply plug it into the battery, drop it in the pool and start vacuuming. The PV2100 is sold as a portable vacuum and no cart is needed. You simple need to carry the battery and the Power Vac back to the pool and that is it. The battery case in this video with the Power Sonic battery came in at 24 lbs. with the Power Vac weighing 14 lbs. Not too heavy and after a few pools you get used to it. You can also order a cart if you prefer.

This thing is amazingly powerful and using the Power Vac will cut your pool cleaning time dramatically. I was able to vacuum pools out at amazing speeds. And the Power Vac picks up everything in the pool. If you want to pick up algae dust or D.E. you will need to order those bags separate. But the two bags that come with it are sufficient for most pools.

The only additional items you will need are a 12V 35Ah "Absorbed glass mat" (AGM) Battery or "Gel" Battery and a charger for the battery. You can find the links for them on my website:!power-vac-/c1jil

On one battery charge:

I wanted to see how many pools I could vacuum on one charge and the last clip in the video is of the Power Vac in the last pool - still working fine - although the bag is a was sagging a little but this thing had a workout over two days:

15,000 gallon pool
30,000 gallon pool
24,000 gallon pool
35,000 gallon pool
15,000 gallon pool
30,000 gallon pool
18,000 gallon pool
35,000 gallon pool
25,000 gallon pool
20,000 gallon pool

So it went through ten pool, most of them the largest on my pool route and still has a pretty  good charge left. It was down to 12% when I connected it to my charger. The battery life of the PV2100 should be sufficient for most pool routes.

POWER VAC PV2100 set up video:

Here are some of the good points for you:

It is super powerful and can pick up not only leaves and twigs but rocks as well.
The battery will last about 3 hours so plenty of time for most pool routes
It is portable so no cart is needed
The cord is 40 ft long so plenty for almost all pools
The cleaning area is very wide and this will speed up your cleaning time
This thing is built to last and is very durable.
There are many bag choices and one that filters down to 15 microns (about what a cartridge filter would filter down to).
The price without the cart is affordable.

The Power Vac PV2100 would be a great investment for any pool service company and a real game changer for many. Check out their website for more information and where to buy.

Power Vac PV2100 Debris:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hayward AquaVac 500 Robotic Pool Cleaner - Review

The Hayward AquaVac 500 is a very solid and well made robotic pool cleaner that seems to be overlooked in the market. It s priced in the mid-range as far as robotic cleaners go and delivers a lot of features.

I like the easy access filter area and I like the design of the filter itself. It has a large area for leaves and the two filter inserts trap the dirt and small debris.

This cleaner has no problem climbing up walls and moving around the pool. It just zips around the pool on a mission to clean it in the allotted 3 hour time frame. In my testing the pools I put it in come out spotless. While it is climbing the walls it also cleans the pool tile area which is a nice touch.

I like the cord swivel as it prevents one of the major plagues of robotic cleaners - the cord getting tangled up in the pool. 60 ft of cord is plenty for most pools.

Many consumers worry about this compact design I think as early cleaners that used this flat design would "Turtle" in the pool - turn over in it's back and need to be assisted. I spoke with the engineer who designed this cleaner at a pool show earlier this year and he says Hayward corrected that issue by increasing the rear thrust by 30%. It seems to work because this thing has yet to "Turtle" in my test pools.

The first thing I noticed about the cleaner is the simplicity of everything. The Control panel has three function. An "on" button, an Icon for selecting bottom only cleaning or bottom and wall cleaning and a simple 7 day timer with four options - 1 time clean, every 24 hours, every 48 hours or every 72 hours (it resets every week so you will have to reprogram it every seven days for safety reasons). That is it. Even a 6 year old could get this thing going.

The cleaner itself lends to the same simple design. The lid pops open with a simple button and the entire filter comes out in one fluid motion. The flat design allows the user to retrieve it from the pool with ease - although it is still heavy at 27 lbs. So it is easy to operate.

I suggest purchasing it with  the cart/caddy as it makes it easy to store and transport. The only negatives I found were that the cart is a little too much plastic - but it is sturdy and effective, and there is no remote for the cleaner so you can't really have fun playing with it ;). Not major negatives but noted.

There are a lot of good points to this cleaner:
Easy filter access
Compact design so it is easy to remove from the pool
Cord swivel to prevent cord tangle
Adaptive seek control for full pool coverage
60 feet of cord
Easy to set-up and program
3 year limited warranty

Robotic cleaners are a good choice for several reasons. They work independently from your pool s filtration system so all of the dirt and debris is trapped by the robot cleaner and doesn't enter your system. They are much more energy efficient than a pressure side cleaner and can clean your pool faster than either a suction side or pressure cleaner.  Most robotic cleaners like the AquaVac 500 can climb your pool walls to the tile line and can clean larger pools.

So if you are in the market for a good robotic cleaner don't overlook the Hayward AquaVac 500. It is a well constructed product built here in the USA and it is backed by a strong 3 year warranty from a manufacturer you can trust.

There is some confusion about the warranty. Online you will read 1 year. In the manual in the box it says 2 years and printed on the box it says 3 year limited warranty. Hayward says the 3 year is correct.

Here are some photos of what it picked up running in my pool for 2 days. I couldn't believe the amount of hair my dog sheds into the pool. My pool has never look more groomed ;)

My Husky
2 days worth of hair in the pool - nice.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Dead Animal in the Pool

There is nothing worse than going out to your pool and finding a dead animal on the bottom. Well, maybe finding one in the skimmer is equally unpleasant.

This is probably the most unpleasant part of my job. But animals fall into a pool and I am left to take care of it. So my list includes rats, mice, lizards, birds, a skunk, gofers and this Possum in the video above. All in a days work as they say.

These are the steps I follow whenever I find a dead animal in the pool. I super chlorinate the pool, run it for one cycle and close it for 24-48 hours or until the chlorine drops down to 5 ppm or less.

Liquid chlorine or Clorox bleach are the best - Sodium Hypochlorite is proven to kill bacteria and virus.

If the pool already was at 2. ppm technically you are fine. But I always like to bring the chlorine up to 10 -20 ppm just to be on the safe side.  It just feels better to have the chlorine blazing high so everything is killed without a doubt.

I run the pool for one complete cycle- all the water passing from the pool to the filter and back into the pool again. This will circulate the chlorine and kill the bacteria.

You can also disinfect your leaf rake or skimmer by setting it in the pool for 30 minutes. Nothing has to be done with the skimmer basket if you find a dead animal in that - water will pass through it and disinfect it while the pool is running.

Not very complicated and easy to do.

If you go to the CDC website the only animal they list as a potential danger is a raccoon since it might be carrying a worm that is transferable to humans - Baylisascaris.

Other then that if your pool is sanitized it will be safe to swim in again once the chlorine level drops down. So it is an unpleasant site for sure but nothing to get too concerned about.

If you are tired of pulling dead critters  out of your skimmer, try this skimmer basket. It has a handle and a push button trigger that open the bottom.

Dead Gofer stuck in the PoolCleaner  Limited Edition
I suppose the only thing worse then finding a dead animal on the pool bottom is finding one in an automatic cleaner like the photo below. Happens often out on my route. A great way to start the day.
Living the dream out here, living the dream...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Above Ground Pool Care & Maintenance

In this video I cover a broad range of things that I think will help you maintain your above ground pool and allow you to enjoy it rather then cursing the decision to purchase it.

Here are some things from the video and some added information.


The key is to keep the water balanced not just for enjoyment and everyday use but because when an above ground pool turns - starts to get algae it is harder to reverse it. Mainly because the equipment is undersized for the amount of water. Manufacturers can't package full size equipment for practical reasons like set-up and assembly. So you are working with equipment that is designed to keep a balanced pool blue and looking good. The equipment is not designed for a green pool clean-up. Some newer above ground pools don't have a skimmer or vacuum port so once it gets out of hand things can get frustrating. One solution is to upgrade to better equipment but the less expensive alternative is to not let the pool turn green in the first place.

A good test kit is essential and testing the water each week or several times a week will keep the pool looking good. So test the chlorine at least once a week, the pH once a week and the Alkalinity every month. At the beginning of season you need to check your Cyanuric Acid level and make sure it is between 30-50 ppm. If not add some Conditioner to the water as Cyanuric Acid helps to protect the chlorine from the Sun's UV rays. Without it the chlorine will burn off in a matter of hours. It is essential and one of the most important things to add.

Ideal Chemistry Range:
pH 7.4-7.8
Total Alkalinity: 80-120
Calcium Hardness: 200-400
TDS: 300-2000 ppm
Cyanuric Acid: 30-50 ppm
Borates: 30 ppm


In the video I recommend the BBB Method of pool care as it is the easiest, safest and best way to keep your pool blue all season long.

BBB Method:
Clorox bleach to sanitize the water
Baking Soda to raise the Alkalinity
Borax to raise the pH

The other chemicals where designed and made for the pool service companies who can only service a pool once a week. But they are marketed now to homeowners for convenience sake.  3" Trichlor Tablets, Trichlor shock and Dichlor will add Cyanuric Acid (CYA) to the pool and with such a small body of water it will raise rapidly. to much CYA in the pool will make the chlorine ineffective. So it is best to avoid these chemicals.

Cal-Hypo shock while good for inground pool use, will cloud your water and could stain the liner.

Liquid chlorine or Clorox bleach are the best way to sanitize your pool. Both contain Sodium Hypochlorite which is the best sanitizer. Don't be deceived by how chlorine is measured. since this is a liquid it is given as a percentage. So 10% liquid chlorine contains 10% Sodium Hypochlorite which is equivalent to a 1 lbs. bag of shock. They are just measured differently but are equal in strength. So a gallon of liquid chlorine is less expensive, more effective and has no negative side effects. Stay away from the shock products entirely.

To help you calculate how much bleach, Baking soda or Borax to add go to this website and plug your numbers in:

This may sound like a no brainer but keep you pool clean each week. Leaves and organic debris will use up the chlorine in the pool so keeping it clean helps keep it balanced.

Investing in good cleaning equipment is a must also. A good brush and leaf rake will make keeping your pool clean a breeze. Brush at least once a week and skim the leaves off the top when you check the chemicals.

Some above ground pools cannot be manually vacuumed but their is a great alternative in the Water Tech Pool Blaster battery operated cleaners. These work really well and I use them on my pool route every week.  They are easy to use and reliable, plus they come with a one year warranty so it is a safe purchase.

Investing in an Above Ground automatic cleaner would also be a wise decision if your equipment is large enough. Some equipment is too small and weak to power a cleaner and pull the water an extra 20 feet through the hoses. So make sure your equipment is large enough and it also helps if your pool has a skimmer or vacuum port.

For lots of product links and more on Above Ground Pool care visit my webpage:!above-ground-pool-care/c12ec

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hayward AquaNaut, Phoenix and Poolvergnuegen PoolCleaner Suction Side Cleaners

There is no hiding the fact that the AquaNaut and Phoenix are just the Poolvergnuegen in an updated body and color scheme. All of the internal parts are the same as the PoolCleaner "The Next Generation." Hayward purchased that company last year and owns the patents so it is incorporating the design into their own brand and there is nothing wrong with that.

Here is an explanation in a nutshell for you. Hayward Purchased Poolvergnuegen back in January of 2014 or so and in that purchase came all of the patents. Since the PoolCleaner was not a Hayward product it couldn't be offered in the Hayward rebate programs. So they spent a lot of money to design a new body and color schemes for the AquaNaut and Phoenix and made them Hayward products. So essentially all three are the same cleaner, PoolCleaner "Next Generation," AqauNaut and Phoenix.

So why purchase the AquaNaut/Phoenix vs the Poolvergnuegen?

The answer is Rebates. The PoolCleaner still carries the Poolvergnuegen name so Hayward could not add it to it's rebate programs. Right now both the Phoenix and AquaNaut come with a $100 rebate offer good until September 6th 2015.

All three come with a two year warranty.

The Aqaunaut and the Phoenix have a better color scheme then the PoolCleaner and the body is well crafted - they both just look great.

I think the AqauNaut/Phoenix will have a wider appeal then the PoolCleaner with the Hayward brand behind it and it will be marketed to consumers unfamiliar with the Poolvergnuegen brand. Hayward isn't trying to fool anyone, they are just trying to promote a cleaner design that is superior to all others on the market.

Make no mistakes all three are great cleaners. The parts are super long lasting and I can almost bet that you will get at least 5 years before needing to change any parts - except the rubber tires that wear out every 18 months or so. It is that well engineered. I've got over 16 Poolvergnuegens on my route some over 6 years old and working fine. I never worry about getting to one of those accounts and finding the cleaner broken down - it just doesn't happen.

The V-flex turbine is designed to pick up large debris and the gearing prevents the cleaner from getting stuck in the step areas or a corner in your pool. Plus the hump on the tire keeps it off main drains that tend to trap other cleaners.

So what you are getting is a durable cleaner that works great with proven engineering. A good purchase and a cleaner I highly recommend to all of my customers on my pool route.


This is the updated version of the PoolCleaner that was in the works when Hayward purchased the cleaner. Currently it doesn't ship with the three suction inlets but I think they will very soon. It is the standard white color scheme and white hoses although there is also a Limited Edition with a darker body and hoses available. There are no rebates but the online price is the lowest of the three. A good solid choice.


The Hayward Phoenix Suction side cleaner is the retail only version of the three cleaners. You can find it at Leslie's pool supply right now for $329.00 after the $100 rebate. The color scheme is pretty sharp and of the three I like it the best.
The main difference from the PoolCleaner is the handle on top, the hubcaps on the wheels and of course as mentioned the color of the cleaner and the hoses. The Phoenix cannot be purchased online and is available only at retail pool stores.


The AquaNaut is the E-commerce version of the three. You can find it online at various websites. The color scheme is different then the Phoenix and it comes with the dark hoses. If you have a colored pool it will look really sharp in it.

Whichever of the three you chose you will be happy. They are the best suction side cleaners on the market and all three also come with a 4x model. The four wheel models are made for larger pools and deeper pools (9 ft or more), They also come with two extra hoses. Basically the gearing is set in the 4x models to turn at a longer interval so it covers more distance consistently.

If you are interested in learning more or purchasing one of the three you can visit my website where I I have links to!top-automatic-pool-cleaners-of-2015/ccs6

For the Phoenix you can visit Leslie's pools:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Bio-Active Cyanuric Acid Reducer

Bio-Active Cyanuric Acid Reducer - BiOWiSH Technologies is the first of it's kind. For years everyone has been trying to come up with a chemical that would destroy high CYA levels. Turns out it isn't a chemical that will do it but a microorganism.

With a huge drought in the Southwest and particularly California, draining your pool partially is not an option. So this product couldn't have hit the market at a better time.

This video above is a basic overview of the product.

To learn more you can go to their website:

I talked to their sales rep extensively and here are some finer points of the Bio-Active.

If the parameters are in line you will get good results - the minimum results ares 40-60 ppm in a pool of 25,000 gallons with a CYA level of 150 ppm. He states that if it is in the 200-250 ppm range the Bio-Active will work better and reduce the levels more. Contrary to that if the levels are 80 ppm you will only see a slight reduction.

Since the chlorine will get stronger as the CYA level drops there is no danger of burning off all the cyanuric acid in the pool - as the chlorine gets stronger it destroys the Bio-Active reducer. So it will level off before the CYA drops below 40 ppm. If there is no chlorine in the pool it could technically zero out the CYA level.

The most important part is to start with an accurate CYA level - I will cover that more in the application video below.

So you don't need to read much further the Cyanuric Reducer works.

This test pool went from 200 ppm down to 140 ppm in 48 hours. I tested the pool 24 hours later also and got 160 ppm that day. But 48 hours later there is a marked difference. I knew it right away when I started the turbidity test - the initial test filled to the 100 ppm mark rapidly. I used the dilution test 1 part pool water 1  part tap water and multiplied the number by 2.

I did about 5 test 24 hours later and consistently got 80 ppm which doubled is 160 ppm. on the 48 hour testing I did the test 3 times and got consistently 70 ppm which doubled is 140 ppm.

I've done CYA testing a lot and am pretty good at making sure the black dot is completely covered - give or take for slight error. that is why I do the testing multiple times.

But the bottom line is that the Bio-Active does appear to work at reducing the CYA levels down. After 7 days I am sue it will be down even more but initially that is an impressive drop considering the only other CYA reducer marketed only dropped the level down 10 ppm, if that, with a complete bottle (Meletrine).

So this is a real game changer for all of those who due to drought or water restrictions couldn't just drain down the pool to reduce the CYA level.

The CYA level should continue to drop in this test pool and I will post results after the 10 day mark. For some it will be less expensive to add 16 oz. or even 24 oz. vs draining the pool down depending on water cost in your area and water restrictions.

Plus once the CYA level is down you will spend less on shocking and chemicals in the long run so the price is worth it.

Speaking on the price as it seems rather high but they have been working on this product since 2009 and the R&D cost were very high. Plus making the microorganism mix itself is an expensive process.

Test Results from six  pools:

Here are my test results for the Bio-Active Cyanuric Acid Reducer in six test pools on my pool route. The results did vary from pool to pool but in each pool there was a measurable drop in the Cyanuric Acid levels. 

I think the main thing that effects the products effectiveness are the chlorine, pH levels and water temperature. I think if you add the product to a pool with the ideal levels you will get good result.

The ideal range is chlorine: 2.0-3.0 ppm
pH: 7.2-7.8
Water Temp: Above 65 degrees

One thing that could make it seem as if the product is not working is getting inaccurate starting CYA levels. The Turbidity test is the best but it is a very subjective test. I like using test strips also to confirm the CYA levels, although the reading is just a ballpark estimate the color does indicate if your Turbidity test is in line. As long as the pH in the pool is between 7.2 and 7.8 the test strips will record an accurate CYA level within the range of the color seen.

Pool store testing is also good if the tester is skilled as most use an electronic tester which is less subjective. 

Bottom line is that the product does work, although I couldn't duplicate the manufacturers numbers all the pools experienced a drop in the Cyanuric Acid levels. 

Adding the product will be less expensive in most cases then draining the pool down and if you need to add two 8 oz. bags to achieve good results you are still saving money overall.

Once you lower your CYA down I suggest switching over to the BBB Method and forgo the Tablets. This method is detailed in the video below:

Saturday, April 11, 2015

SweepEase® AquaDynamic 18" Pool Brush

I saw the SweepEase being demonstrated at a pool show and was intrigued by the design. The Patented shape uses water to push it to the wall and floor creating more pressure without you physically exerting the force. 5-10 lbs more according to the manufacturer.

The manufacturer plays up the one handed brushing of the pool which is nice but I really like the fact that when you use two hands the force created by this brush is increased dramatically. You almost get pulled into the pool - so be careful. You can also use one hand and brush the pool effectively.

The brush is well made and finished well. I like the overall shape as it makes brushing in the corners easy.

Both brushes use Polypropylene which is superior to Nylon in many ways. Polypropylene is chemical and UV resistant, has more flexibility and is more durable than nylon.

They make two models, one for plaster and Pebble Tec pool surfaces with wire bristles inserted among the Poly bristles:

SweepEase 100% POLY BRISTLE Brush AquaDynamic Pool Brush, 18-Inch

For a Fiberglass and Vinyl pool they make a complete Poly Bristle brush:

SweepEase 100% POLY BRISTLE Brush AquaDynamic Pool Brush, 18-Inch

An excellent choice for a pool brush for both the homeowner and a pool service tech.
Well balanced, durable and the extra force it creates is a definite  plus. I've been using it on my pool route now for three weeks and just love the brush. I like how it gets into tight corners and the extra power it produced to push debris off of the walls and floors. And the shape allows for easy carrying and use.

I've dropped it several times and banged it against pool steps and it is holding up just fine. If you are looking for a durable and highly effective pool brush this one is it.

You can visit the manufacturers website to learn more:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

What Causes Algae in a Pool?

It is a bit of circular logic but if you keep your pool balanced you won't develop algae and it won't be a problem for you.

But we all get busy and forget to check on the pool or the gardeners decide to blow everything from the deck into the pool. Maybe your pump basket gets clogged and you don't notice for a few days. Or you leave your pool in spa mode and the pool sits not circulating for a week. In an ideal world simply keeping your pool balanced would solve a lot of issues, but stuff happens.

So here are some common causes of algae blooming in your pool, ways to treat it and a preventative algae treatment you can use all season long.

There are of course other ways to prevent algae growth if you would like to try them. Here are some low cost preventative things you can do:

Adding Borates to your pool to achieve 30 ppm- 50 ppm helps to inhibit algae growth.
Keeping your pH at 7.2-7.4 is also effective as the chlorine will be more effective but be used up quicker.
Use a PolyQuat 60 Algaecide but it is about the same cost as "No Mor Problems" - which is a better choice.

Here are some higher cost ideas:
Invest in a good automatic cleaner to pick up the organic debris and dirt all week long vs you vacuuming once a week.
Invest in a Ultra Violet UV system - expensive but effective if you have ever used UV in an aquarium or pond - you know it works.
Ozone systems also inhibit algae growth but are also expensive - there effectiveness is also debatable.

So I included using YellowTreat and No Mor Problems as effective ways to treat algae and an effective way to prevent algae growth.

You can learn more about their products on their website:

I also have a webpage dedicated to algae treatment:!green-pool-and-algae-problems/cc3e

And a YouTube Playlist:
Algae Removal & Pool Chemistry:

On my pool route I use Sodium Bromide as my main source of algae treatment. It is highly effective as Bromine is well documented to kill algae. Using a maintenance dose of Sodium Bromide also inhibits algae growth and No Mor Problems has been specially formulated for that purpose.

Green Pool Clean Up in One Day

Basically a green pool clean-up is a process as I detail in all three videos. If you don't follow the process and just dump chlorine and algaecide in it probably won't work.

From my experience the initial chemical reading is not a factor - unless the pool is really low on Conditioner - below 30 ppm. It doesn't matter what  the initial pH or Alkalinity reading the first day - you are looking at a swamp with mosquito larvae growing in it - it is not a pool in any sense except for the equipment.

So the first step is to make sure the pump is working - this pool had the pump down for  6 months  - finally got a used pump installed.

Circulation is critical so the filter needs to be cleaned. A Cartridge filter like this one needs to be taken apart and cleaned - so does a DE filter. Sand filters are a pain as they can only be backwashed so the process will be longer with that filter type.

Then we bomb out the pool. I like 30 ppm of chlorine -Shock and Awe. Liquid Chlorine or Clorox bleach works best. You can use shock too.

To find out how much chlorine to add to get 30 ppm in your pool size go to this website and plug in your numbers.

Chances are all the chlorine you add will be gone in 24 hours as it works hard to destroy the algae - the organic material in the algae will then turn the pool a milky blue. You will need to raise the chlorine again to at least 10 ppm and run the pool - initially 24 hours or 48 hours the first day or two - then 12 hours until it clears.

If you can check the chlorine every few hours to make sure you have some residual. Check and add chlorine everyday until the water clears - It should clear within a week - larger pools a little longer.

On the second day you will need to clean or backwash the filter again. Sometimes three or four times depending on the filter size and how swampy the pool was. Pool size is a factor too. This pool is over 30,000 gallons so the results will be slower then in a 10,000 gallon pool.

Even if you don't use Tri-chlor tablets it is a good idea to use some during this process. They will help keep the residual chlorine up until the pool clears. Then you can stop using them - 4-6 tablets will add some CYA to the pool but not a huge amount.

If your CYA is over 150 you can still do this process - you will have to drain down 2-4 ft of water after to reduce the CYA levels. Note that it is illegal in California to drain a green pool so do this after the pool is blue again. There is a new CYA Reducer on the market and I will be doing a video on it soon. It will take your CYA levels from 150 ppm down to 40 ppm with just 8 oz of the product (In 20,000 gallons of water).

High CYA levels during this process will slow down the results but not dramatically.

An Algaecide is necessary in my opinion although some disagree. I find that it accelerates the process and will help keep the algae from returning if the pool zeros out during the process. I've tried cleaning green pools with just liquid chlorine and the process is much longer and harder. Think of an algaecide as a chlorine enhancer - it will make the process easier for you.

Swamp Treat by United Chemicals is the most powerful algaecide on the market. Just  1 lbs is enough for 20,000 gallons of water. It is a Sodium Bromide based formula with other ingredients that enhance the Sodium Bromide and make is Super effective. The bottle seems deceiving as it is only half full - but it is sold by weight and not volume - powerful stuff.

Here are some links to other products seen in this video:
Multi-Tork Filter Socket Tool - For Faster Filter Cleaning:
Aqua Comb Spa Filter Cartridge Spray Cleaner Tool (Pet Aqua Comb):
SweepEase® AquaDynamic 18" Pool Brush – Review:

To learn more about swamp treat:

To order Swamp Treat:!green-pool-and-algae-problems/cc3e

If you have any questions during your process please post them and I will answer them for you. Green pools are a specialty of mine and I enjoy turning them around.

Here are my other two green pool videos: