Thursday, September 27, 2018

What Type of Chlorine is Best for my Pool?

There is some confusion about what type of chlorine, known also as a sanitizer that would work best in your pool. I will go over the ones that I use and list the pros and cons of each one for you here. There are several different ones to choose from and hopefully after reading this you can purchase the best one for your pool care needs.

Liquid Chlorine or Bleach is the tried and true standard chemical of choice for most pool service professionals. It is easy to use and relatively inexpensive and it has the least side effects of any of the chlorine you can choose from. It is usually sold in 12.5% active chlorine per gallon with Bleach coming in at about half that strength at 6.5%. It will raise the pH slightly, but it does not contain any Stabilizer or Conditioner making it ideal for all pool types. This means that when you add a gallon of liquid chlorine and your Conditioner level (CYA) is 50 ppm it will stay at 50 ppm even if you add 20 gallons of liquid chlorine.
Fastest acting of all chlorine types
Will not raise your CYA level
Safe for all pool types
Easy to use

Breaks down by the Sun’s UV Rays so you pool needs a CYA level of 30-50 ppm
Short shelf life so rotate stock or buy fresh chlorine when needed
The gallons can be heavy compared to a bag of shock
Is seen as weaker than shock based on the low percentage of chlorine but is stronger

Cal Hypo is very popular and there are a number of reasons why it is widely used in the industry. It is easy to carry and comes in different strengths 60-75% active chlorine. One of the major side effects is that it contains calcium, so over time it will raise your pool’s calcium hardness. Not an issue if you live in an area with soft water but I caution the use in areas with hard water. It also has a high pH of around 12 so it will raise the pH in a pool if you use a significant amount each week. It can also make the pool cloudy if you pour a bag directly in. A very powerful form of shock.

Strong and easy to use
Does not contain Conditioner so it will not raise the pool’s CYA levels
Safe for all pool surface types but use caution with a vinyl liner

Raises Calcium Harness in a pool
Raises the pH in a pool
Clouds up the pool water

Dichlor is a very popular form of chlorine and the granular form makes it very easy to measure and use in a pool. It is pH neutral which means it will not raise or lower the pool pH in any significant way. It does contain Conditioner, about 45%-50% by weight. So, if you add 10 lbs. of Dichlor to a pool you are also adding about 5 lbs. of Conditioner. Over time this will increase the pool’s CYA levels. A little Dichlor goes a long way making this an ideal chemical to carry on your truck if you service pools. Just don’t over use it because of the high amount of Conditioner in the product. It is usually about 62% active chlorine by weight.

Easy to use and powerful
pH neutral
Safe for all surface types
Long shelf life of 2-3 years

Adds Conditioner to the pool

Tri-Chlor or Trichloroisocyanuric Acid comes in three forms. The familiar 3” tablets that slowly dissolve in your pool, a very fine powder shock and a granular form. About 50% of the Tri-Chlor by weight is Conditioner. So, a 50 lbs. bucket of tablets is about 25 lbs. of Conditioner. If you overuse tablets your pool’s CYA level can go up rapidly. Trichlor tablets are usually 95% to 99% active chlorine. Tri-Chlor tablets have a very low pH of 2-3 so they will lower the pH in your pool. The tablets contain acid in the for of Cyanuric Acid so if one falls into the pool it is likely to stain the surface by burning it.

The powder form of Tri-Chlor shock is a good mix of both power and less Conditioner per pound. It is fast acting but has a strong chemical smell so use caution when using it. It is less pure than the tablet form and is usually 65%-70% active chlorine.  I use it on my route and find it to be effective in shocking a pool.

Tri-Chlor granular is very powerful stuff. It is basically the Tri-Chlor Tablet grounded up in granular form and is 99% active chlorine. Use with extreme caution as the Conditioner in the granular can stain the plaster. The CYA in the tablet is basically an acid and if you let it pile up on the pool surface it will stain the plaster as if you dropped a 3” Tablet into the pool. Never add this to the skimmer and if you do use it for Black or Mustard algae make sure it is evenly dispersed on the pool surface. Not for use in Vinyl, Fiberglass or color plaster pools.

Very strong and slow dissolving in tablet form so it releases chlorine all week long
Easy to use and affordable

Can stain the pool surface
Contains 50% CYA by weight

So, there you have some sanitizer choices for your pool. As you can see there is no perfect chlorine on the market, so you should get educated on which is best for your pool.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Star-Rite System 3 Filter Air Bleeder Upgrade!

One of my favorite cartridge filters is the Sta-Rite System 3 filter. They also make this in a De filter version and it is probably one of the most durable and longest lasting filters on the market. But the weak point of this filter is the very outdated and poorly functioning air relief valve. For such a large filter the air bleeder is very small and pathetically weak. But there is a simple $30 upgrade that you can make that will turn the air relief into a real beast.

Sta-Rite and Pentair are the same company now and Pentair makes a series of cartridge filters known as the Clean & Clear and Clean & Clear Plus.  They make an air relief valve that is awesome, and wouldn’t you know it, it fits perfect on the System 3 filter. Pentair 98209800 High Flow Manual Relief Valve Replacement Pool and Spa Filter. You would simply remove the entire air relief on top of the Sta-Rite filter and insert the 98209800 right in its place.

You don’t need any actual tools to do this, just an adjustable wrench and some Teflon Tape for the pressure gauge. Make sure pool timer is off and will not come back on during the process. Remove the old air relief assembly on top of the Sta-Rite filter and then thread in the 98209800, no Teflon Tape needed at that threaded area. Then apply Tephlon Tape to the pressure gauge and thread it into the Air Relief (after you remove the plastic plug). Now when you go to let air out of the filter it will take a matter of seconds and all of the air will be evacuated rapidly.

It is as simple as that and your Sta-Rite System 3 filter has been upgraded.  It is important to let the air out of the filter after cleaning the filter and after you clean the pump basket. This helps the pump prime easily and prevents air from getting trapped in the lines after the equipment turns off. You may notice air bubbles coming out of the return lines if you don’t do this. The 98209800 Relief Valve will make sure no air is in filter and I recommend this upgrade at your earliest convenience.

To order the Pentair 98209800 High Flow Manual Relief Valve Replacement Pool and Spa Filter:

Here are some more videos on the System 3 filter:
 Multi-Tork MTJ-770 Filter Socket for Faster Cleaning of Sta-Rite System 3 Filters:
STA-Rite System 3 Filter cleaning:
When to Replace Your SYSTEM:3® Cartridges (Step by Step Guide on How To Install):
Sta-Rite System 3® Retro-Fit Kit Review and Installation Video:
Sta-Rite System 3® Retro-Fit Kit Part 2 of 2: Cleaning the Cartridges:

Thursday, September 20, 2018

More Pool Guy and Gal Rookie Mistakes - Collecting Money Owed

Making mistakes in business is all part of starting out and learning what to do and what not to do. But if you can learn from someone else who has made every mistake beforehand, the better for you.  So here is part two of the series on Rookie Pool Guy and Gal Mistakes.  I am going to cover collecting money, how long to spend at each service account and more.

Let me start out with collecting money at the time of a job. If you are doing a green pool clean up or acid wash you will want all the money or at least 50% of it before you even start the job. I know asking for all of the money up front can sound intimidating to the customer, but it is better for you and I am writing this for the intent to show you how important this is. Say you complete a $1,000 acid wash and power sanding of the pool surface. You didn’t get any money up front because you trust the client. He says after the pool is filled that he doesn’t like the results. You just spend 2 days on the project and now you have no money to show and you are out the money for your helpers. What is your recourse at this point?

You can badger him to pay, but he continues to refuse. The next step would be to take him to Small Claims Court. There is a filing fee and you will have to give up a day of work to meet him in court. There is no guarantee you will prevail in the case. You can also put a lien on the property but in most states like Ca. you will have to bring a Civil Suit against him within one year otherwise the Lien in unenforceable. So, either option is tough, and you are still out your $1,000. It is better to get at least $500 up front and even better to get the whole amount. Then if there is a dispute you can arrange a partial refund but at least you are holding the money in your hands.

So, consider this when setting up your business. You can have them deposit the money in your PayPal account, leave you a check or cash or open a Square account and get the cell phone credit card swiper and charge their credit card at the time you start the job.  If you get a bad feeling and the customer simply refuses to pay anything up front, just walk away from the job. I would rather not take the chance of getting burned and then fighting for the payment later.

When you set up your company billing you want to also avoid giving away free services. I suggest charging for labor, the maintenance dose chlorine and acid but all other chemicals including 3” tablets will be an extra charge to the customer. This prevents losses from heavy chemical usage as well as losses when the prices of the chemicals invariably go up. This is not nickel and diming the customers but strictly running a profitable business. You charge for everything just like your mechanic does when you take the car in for service. He charges for everything even down to the tire stem caps.

Let me switch gears now and talk about how much time you should be spending at each service stop to remain profitable. If it is a standard 15,000 to 20,000-gallon pool, then 25 minutes should be your maximum time. In Texas where you are servicing 35,000 to 40,000-gallon pools then 45 minutes should be your maximum service time. Any more than that and you start to lose money. To speed up the service account make sure they have an automatic cleaner and proper running equipment. You may also be over servicing the pool by spending too much time vacuuming it when it only needs a spot vacuuming, or the pool may have too much debris in it each week. If you are spending a lot of time at one pool, consider dropping it when you pick up two pools that are quicker cleans. Time is money and you need to get each pool cleaned and checked within a reasonable time as illustrated above.

Half the battle is getting paid for your services and the other half is time management out on your route. Both can really hurt your bottom line and you need to set your business up so that it is profitable by getting paid up front for large service jobs and by not wasting time on one pool or several pools each day. Listen to the complete Podcast for more tips and things to avoid.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Libro Electronico: Cuidado de la Piscina La Guía Esencial ¡Más de 220 páginas cubriendo todo!

El libro electronico "cuidado de la piscina La Guía esencial "que yo llamo un e-book porque tiene más de 30 enlaces de vídeo. Estos enlaces de vídeo son por categoría para ayudarle a encontrar un vídeo para su problema específico de piscina o necesidad de piscina. ¿busca un limpiador automático? He revisado la mayoría de ellos y los enlaces de vídeo están todos aquí en este libro. Tenga en cuenta que debe tener una conexión a Internet para ver los vídeos. ¿Tiene un problema con la bomba o el filtro? Usted puede encontrar la solución correcta en estas páginas.  

Me habían preguntado en muchas ocasiones si tenía una guía completa de todos los mis videos, así que decidí crear uno aquí en este e-Book. El diseño es muy sencillo. Cada sección está listada en un orden específico y bajo cada sección hay artículos y más importante, enlaces de videos en mi canal de YouTube. Aquí están las secciones cubiertas en el libro:

Tratamiento de algas y limpieza de piscinas verdes
Equilibrar el agua de la piscina
Kits de prueba de piscina
Herramientas de limpieza
Herramientas de limpieza sistemas avanzados de vacío
Limpieza de la piscina
Limpiadores automáticos
bombas y motores
Skimmers de piscina y productos de desnatado
Equipo y problemas de la piscina
Temporizadores y sistemas automatizados
Piscinas de agua salada
Manchas de metal y sarro en su piscina
Consejos para ahorrar dinero
Así Quieres ser un chico/chica de la piscina
Construcción y remodelación de piscinas
Si después de comprando, se desea una versión descargable, ¡envíeme un correo electrónico y le enviaré un formato en versión PDF para descargar para su computadora o dispositivo! 
¡sin costo adicional! 

¡Versión PDF también
El e-book está en HTML5 Formato así que funcionará en su computadora, tableta o teléfono inteligente. ¡Tiene una plantilla compatible del teléfono elegante de modo que el libro sea fácil de leer en su dispositivo! Este es todo en un recurso.
Esto trae todo junto bajo una guía. En lugar de buscar en mi canal de YouTube o sitio web, todo lo que necesitas está justo debajo de la portada de este libro.

La mejor parte es que estoy ofreciendo este ebook para el precio bajo de $9.99. Usted puede comprar el libro en esta página web a través de una retirada segura de PayPal y empezar a utilizar el libro de inmediato.

Es el mejor recurso que puede Obtener y usted encontrará el formato muy fácil de usar. Elegí el formato Flip Book porque hace que sea muy fácil de navegar de página en página e incluye un cuadro de búsqueda que le permite escribir una palabra clave y luego saltar a esa página. Elegí HTML 5 formato para que cada ordenador y smartphone podría tener fácil acceso al libro.

Con más de 220 páginas de artículos y 30 enlaces de vídeo, usted encontrará la respuesta a su problema de la piscina si usted es un propietario o un técnico de servicio de la piscina.
-Este libro es ideal para el propietario de bricolaje y para el profesional del servicio de la piscina. Todo que usted necesita está aquí en este e-book comprensivo.
-Actualizaciones gratuitas del libro sin cargo adicional.
-Descarga gratuita de PDF versión a petición.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Why Does My Swimming Pool Have Really Bad Flow Issues?

There are a few reasons why you may be experience poor pool flow or poor circulation. There are of course many obvious reasons along with some that might take some serious detective work to figure out. Poor pool flow will of course affect the over all water quality and safety of the pool water. Correcting poor flow and poor circulation is a must and here are some of the reasons for it.

Let us start with the basic issues. Check to make sure the skimmer basket is not full of debris. If the basket is full of debris, simply empty it and you should get your normal pool flow back. The pump basket can also be clogged with debris and this will also slow down the pool flow. Even if the basket looks clean there may be debris stuck in front of the pump impeller causing poor flow. Of course, check the pool water level to make sure it is not too low as this could affect the pool flow. Also, in the skimmer there is a weir gate that sometimes get stuck in the up position. Check to make sure that the weir gate is moving freely when the pump is running.

If you have a suction side cleaner sometimes the cleaner could get some debris stuck in the cleaner clogging the mouth of the cleaner and causing poor flow. Also, if you have an in-line canister it could also be clogged with debris. So, the point here is to make sure the obvious reasons are checked first and then you can move on to some other possible causes.

Moving on to the pool pump you will want to check the impeller for a possible obstruction. Usually the filter gauge will show a lower PSI than normal. For example, say it normally rides at 20 PSI but if the impeller is jammed it may show 10 PSI. This is easy to fix, simply turn off the pump, remove the basket and use a screwdriver to spin the impeller free. Once the clog is cleared you will here a gurgling noise as air passes into the filter. Fill up the pump pot with water, put the lid on and start the pump. In rarer cases the impeller will be cracked, or the diffuser will be warped. But in most cases clearing the impeller gets everything flowing again.

There could also be an air leak at the pump area in the intake or outlet area of the pump where the pipe threads in. If your pump has unions check the O-rings in the unions for any wear or cracks. In most cases with a suction leak you will see water leaking from somewhere at the equipment area. Replumbing that area will solve the flow issue.

In rare cases the line could get clogged with debris. This happens if your skimmer basket gets a crack in it or it floats up and lets large debris into the suction line. Vacuuming without a canister or having a suction side cleaner without an in-line canister can also cause a clog. Using a drain bladder to free the clog in the line is usually very effective. If the clog is very compacted you may need to call a plumber or pool service company out and they will blow the line with a Co2 tank. In rare cases the skimmer line could have a crack in it and you will need to replace the entire skimmer to fix the issue. Usually a cracked skimmer will also cause water to leak from the pool, so you will see a significant drop in your pools water level if this is the case.

Moving on to the filter it could be something as simple as a vert dirty filter. Clean the filter if it is a DE or a Cartridge Filter or backwash your Sand Filter. In some cases, the cartridge could be old and after replacing it your will see a dramatic increase in flow. Same with a DE Filter, changing the grids may also solve your pool’s flow issue. If you backwash your sand filter and still have poor flow, consider replacing the sand. The filter can be the cause of poor flow and the filter gauge is a good indicator of this.

On rare occasions there could also be an obstruction on the return side of your pool. A bad check valve can restrict flow and I see this often with the older Ortega Check Valves. Or a piece of the heater can break off and clog the return line. A Return Side Cleaner like the Polaris 360 with a clogged screen can also restrict flow. But this is pretty rare and most of the flow issues are on the suction side of the pool.
If you still can’t solve the flow issues it may be time to call in a pool professional or a Leak Detection Company like American Leak Detectors.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Aquabot MRT 2500 Robotic Pool Cleaner with a 2 Year 100% Bumper to Bumper Warranty!

The MRT 2500 is Aquabots latest edition to their robotic cleaner line up. It is a hybrid cleaner taking the Aquabot Breeze SE and adding some great features to it and making it the premiere model in this category. Besides the great color choice, the MRT 2500 can also connect to the Aqaubot APP where you can turn on and off the cleaner and set the cleaning cycle from your phone or device. It also features Aqaubot’s patented power washing jets on the bottom. I will go over the features of the MRT 2500 in more detail below.

Here are the key features of the cleaner:

90º Wall Climbing / Scrubbing using hydro-robotic technology
Cleans Pool Floors, Cove and Walls
“Hyper speed” Scrubbing Brush (2x faster than standard brushes)
Industry’s strongest pumps and finest filtration
Extra Large Top Access Fine Filter Basket (filters down to 2 microns)
Industry’s strongest pumps and finest filtration (Over 80 GPM)
Power Washing Jets loosen stubborn debris and algae
Swivel helps prevent cable tangling – 50’ Cable
Light weight
Easy Lift Handle with rapid water exit feature
External Timer capable (timer not included)
Aquabot App Compatible via Wi-Fi
2 year bumper to bumper Warranty

The 50 ft of cable makes the MRT 2500 more versatile allowing you to use it in a larger pool and the swivel will prevent cable tangling. The Power Washing Jets is another great feature found in much more expensive cleaners. These jets will shoot water out of the bottom and help loosen up dirt and debris making the MRT 2500 a beast with dirt and debris. The Hyper Scrubbing brush on back also works to loosen up dirt and debris and it will climb your pool walls and clean it up to the water line.

The top loading debris chamber also will filter down to an industry leading 2 microns, which is better than your pool’s existing filtration system. The fact that the MRT 2500 operates separately from your pool’s filtration system means that not only will your pool stay cleaner but that your filtration system will too. And the debris chambers are also very large capacity so the MRT 2500 will not have any problems with large leaf debris as well as dirt.

I like the compact size and design of the cleaner.  It operates in a very simple backwards and forwards motion with a slight tilt of the front axle to give it full coverage of your pool. For the price point the MRT 2500 is the complete cleaner and suitable for all pool surface types.

More Aquabot Cleaner:
Breeze SE (2017):
Breeze SE (2018):
Turbo T4RC Plus:
Aquabot Overview Video:
Benefits of a Robotic Cleaner:
Aqaubot Mamba Suction Side Cleaner:

By David Van Brunt 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Jacuzzi J-VSP150 and J-VSP250 Variable Speed Pumps

I am a huge fan of Variable Speed pumps and I am always pushing them onto customers as the energy savings are tremendous over the old single speed pumps. I have reviewed various brands and today there are several major manufacturers with their own versions of VS Pumps. Jacuzzi is one brand that sells two very reliable versions in the J-VSP150 and the J-VSP250.

One thing that sets the Jacuzzi VS pumps apart is their warranty period. If purchased and installed by a pool service professional, you will receive a 2-year warranty on the pump. This is better than most other VS pumps currently on the market. If it is installed by Leslie’s Pool Supply the warranty is extended to 5 years. That is correct, a five-year warranty. And Leslie’s Pool will install the Jacuzzi Pump at no cost or no installation charge.

Here is more about the Jacuzzi Pump from the manufacturer:

“Reduce electricity costs while providing your family with a clean and clear swimming pool when you install the Jacuzzi® J-VSP150 or the Jacuzzi® J-VSP250 Professional-Grade Variable Speed Pool Pump! This pool pump is suitable for use on in ground swimming pools that require a more high-demanding application.

The J-VSP150 Variable Speed Pool Pump features a strong flow rate that’s efficiency circulates your pools water and backwashes virtually any sized filter system while still providing you with enough energy to power the suction on your pool cleaner. The J-VSP150 Variable Speed Pool Pump features an efficient wet end, basket check valve, easy to open lid, long-lasting Viton o-rings, carbon pump seal, and includes an adjustable base, unions and lid removal tool for ease of use.
Pool Pump Features

  • Energy Star Certified: Save up to 80% on energy costs.
  • Decreases run time and energy use while still working at a professional-grade level.
  • Ideal for harsher weather conditions.
  • Resists cracking and leaking for a longer lasting and more durable pump.
Five (5) Year Limited Warranty on Product with exclusive Leslie's Equipment Protection Plan, see manual for a full description of warranty claims and coverage details.”

The J-VSP150 is a 1.5 hp VS Pump which should be enough for most pool owners. If you are running water features and a large attached spa you may want to opt for the J-VSP250 which is there 2.5 hp version. I think the majority of pool owners can get away with using the J-VSP250 but you can always email me your pool specs and I will let you know the best choice for your pool.

The pump itself is very easy to program and operate. The control panel built into the back is very simple and user friendly. The design of the pump is also very sleek, and the wet end pump basket area is large and easy to open. The included tool makes opening the pump lid very easy, although you can easily open it without it also. As far as the noise factor it is not as quite as the Jandy VS pump and sounds more in line with the Pentair Super Flo Vs pump. It will be quitter than your standard 1 speed pump for sure but not silent if that is a factor for you.

All in all the Jacuzzi VS pump is a solid choice and when you are comparing VS pumps don’t pass this one up without a second look.