Thursday, May 30, 2019

Don't get sued, ways to avoid a lawsuit in your pool service business

There are many things that are out of your control when you are servicing a pool. The weather, how the homeowner treats their pool, the gardener and other factors like these. But there is one thing that you are certainly in control of and that is a liability on your pool route. Mistakes are of course something we all make but liability is an entirely different ballgame. These are things you should not have done which now opens you up to liability and a possible lawsuit.

Don’t Fill the Customer’s Pool:
If you have done this long enough you have probably filled a customer’s pool out of frustration or maybe kindness. You see the water is low each week and the customer is not filling the pool. The pump may not be running well, and the pool may be turning. So, you decide to take matters in your own hand and fill their pool.  So, you drop in the garden hose or turn on the fill line.  You then get distracted or receive a phone call and leave the property. 4 hours later you get a call from the customer stating that you left the water on and now their yard and the house are flooded. This is a liability that could have been avoided. Don’t fill the customer’s pool. Make it clear that filling the pool each week is the customer’s responsibility.

If for any reason you do need to fill a pool, maybe the house is vacant or there I some other compelling reason, place your truck keys on the hose spigot or fill line handle. That way you cannot leave without turning off the water. But this is not a bulletproof method so use extreme caution if you do need to fill a pool. Make it your default operating method to not fill any pools on your route.

Don’t Drain a Fiberglass or Vinyl Pool:
It may be just ignorance or a lack of understanding of how a fiberglass pool or vinyl pool is set in the ground. You may just assume they are just like a plaster pool and when a potential customer or existing customer calls you and wants their pool drained you don’t see any problem with it. If you drain a Fiberglass in-ground pool, there is a high probability that it will pop out of the ground or a wall may collapse in on it. Unlike a standard plaster or PebbleTec pool which has a heavy cement foundation called Gunite, a Fiberglass pool is held in by the water inside of it. When drained nothing is holding it in the ground and it is likely to simply pop out of the ground.

A Vinyl pool is very similar in that nothing is holding it down except the weight of the water. Another issue is that the water is also stretching out the liner so that it clips into the sides around the entire pool. Once it drains to a certain point the liner can tear right out of the wall. The same goes for a large above ground pool. If you were to drain it the walls could collapse in and ruin the pool.

The bottom line, you should not drain a Fiberglass pool or Vinyl liner pool. Only those who specialize in each of these pools types are qualified to drain them. And this is only done to replace the liner or repair the Fiberglass pool.

Don’t Leave a Plaster Pool Empty:
A plaster or PebbleTec pool will rarely if ever pop out of the ground. The only way for this to happen is if there is more water under the pool than in it. Heavy rains of 6-8 inches can do this or if you drain it and let the water soak into the soil around the empty pool this can happen. But it is very, very rare.

The liability comes into play if you drain a plaster pool and leave it empty longer than needed for an acid wash and refill. Leaving it empty for a week in 90-degree weather can cause damage to the plaster. Once refilled you will see the plaster start to chip and break off in the pool. The best thing you can do is drain the pool and refill it as soon as possible. Do not leave it empty for a long period of time.
There are of course many more things that you can do to cause liability. A good rule of thumb is don’t do anything outside of your line of specialty. Also, don’t do things when you are tired or in a rush. And don’t do anything you don’t know how to do. From equipment install to acid washes, if you are not trained to do these things don’t so them. This will save you from some serious liability.

Last, you will want to have a General Liability policy of at least 2 million dollars with one million per occurrence. Don’t go into any backyard without it.

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Monday, May 27, 2019

Aquabot Viva Premium Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Aquabot Viva is a top of the line premium cleaner that comes with lots of bells and whistles. The price point is at the higher end coming in over $1,500 dollars at your local pool store and you do get a lot for your money. It is backed by an amazing 4-year warranty so rest assured you will get years of use out of the Aquabot Viva.

Here is more on the Aquabot Viva:

“Aquatic Distributors proudly brings you the next generation Aquabot Viva (The Most Advanced Remote Control Pool Cleaner) for your inground swimming pool! This state-of-the-art pool machine comes equipped with “Smart Control”, a unique and easily understandable control panel that allows you to customize the Vivas’s speed, climbing prowess, hours of operation, size and shape of the pool, type of deep end, and even when the filter needs cleaning.

Comes equipped with our patented PVA Brushes. Originally designed to climb the slick tile walls of pools, PVA Brushes offer 100% greater traction, virtually clinging to the walls providing unequaled gripping ability.

The new Aquabot Viva features a revolutionary RADIO REMOTE CONTROL which gives the Viva the ability to clean any area of the pool at the touch of a button!

In addition, the new VIVA employs a very carefully engineered, state-of-the-art Aquacontrol technology allowing communication with the device. This unique control keypad gives the end-user the ability to customize the robot in order to change the program, choose different features, and have complete control of the cleaning parameters.

The Aquacontrol is a unique control panel that allows you to communicate directly with the robot and customize it. This Human Machine Interface gives you the option to program different parameters so the pool can always be cleaned as efficiently as possible. Be sure to select each feature to the best of your knowledge in order to get the maximum life out of the robot. If you prefer not to select any features, the robot will work in default mode and choose the parameters for you.”

Key Features & Performance

Product/Pool Features:
For In-Ground Pools
Shape: Rectangle, Lap, Kidney, L-Shape, Round, Oval
Surfaces: Ideal for Tile, Vinyl, Gunite/Concrete, Fiberglass
Pool to Wall Transition: 90 degrees
Equipped with Hydro-Robotic Technology
Includes Caddy
Power Consumption: 140 Watts
Cable Length: 75'
Patented PVA Brushes
Cleans Pool Floor and Wall
Aqua Smart System
Timer Settings: Automatic Shut Off
Water Mixing Capability:
91.6 Gallons per Minute
Filter Type:
Bottom Loading
Extra large reusable filter bag
4 Years
(1st Year 100%, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Year Limited)

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Adding Borates to Your Swimming Pool

Adding Borates to your pool to achieve a level of 30-50 ppm has many benefits. I have a series of videos on Borates and highly recommend adding Borates to your pool. I have added Borates to my pool and couldn't be happier. Results are well worth it.

Here are the proven benefits of having a Borate level of 30-50 ppm:

Lower Chlorine usage: The Borate helps reduce chlorine usage by eliminating Carbon Dioxide and also by keeping the pH stable. Chlorine last longer when the pH is right at 7.6-7.8. When the chlorine is in the ideal range the killing element in chlorine the HOCI is at the most balanced percentage so the chlorine in a pool with a pH of 7.4 is 30% more effective than in a pool with a pH of 8.0. This is a big factor in creating the safest swim environment and the borates will keep the pH much more stable and in turn, make the chlorine much more effective.

pH is stable: The pH won't change much in a pool with Borate in it. So, if you have a Salt Water Pool this is a must since the pH tends to rise dramatically. In fact, in a Salt Water Pool the pH can rise to over 8.4 very rapidly. You will find yourself putting tons of acid in each week just to keep the pH below 7.8. With borates in the pool, the pH will be stable and easy to control.  It is a must for a pool with a Salt Water Generator. It also will keep your salt cell from building up calcium rapidly since is sequesters the Calcium in the water. This means the salt cell will remain clean and your salt system will run much more efficiently.

Water is more sparkling: The Borate is more reflective so when the Sun hits the pool the water will really sparkle. The fact that it sequesters calcium will give the water an added clarity and you will notice the sparkle is almost blinding. The difference is very marked and noticeable and it is a good bonus benefit of borates.

Softer and less irritating water: The water feels softer and doesn't burn your eyes. It also will keep your skin and hair hydrated so after swimming your skin won't be as dried out. Borax has been used for a very long time as a softener for laundry. You will find it in the laundry aisle and it makes sense that it will also make the water feel softer and prevent dry skin.

Less Algae growth: Boric Acid is a known Biostat. This prevents the algae cell from forming and multiplying. Thus, a pool with a Borate level between 30-50 ppm will prevent algae growth. Since borate prevents the algae cell from growing, algae blooms will be a thing of the past. No more algaecides or shocking the pool, algae just won’t grow in your pool any longer.

Borates in the water also don’t evaporate so the initial dose will not need to be added every season. Simply measure the borate level at the beginning of the season and add a maintenance dose to bring the level back up to 30-50 ppm. It can leave the water through filter backwashing, splash out and it is diluted by fresh water.

In some estimates, you will use 40% fewer chemicals in your pool during the season. Imagine cutting your chemical use and cost in half! This is one of the best benefits of adding borates. Since it buffers the pH you will need less acid week to week. Since it enhances the chlorine by keeping the pH stable you will use less chlorine each week. And since it prevents algae from growing you will not need to add algaecides or add large amounts of shock to your pool. There really is no good reason not to add borates to your pool.

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Monday, May 20, 2019

BioGuard Optimizer: Adding Borates to your Pool the Easy Way!

BioGuard Optimizer is a water enhancer and clarifier which provides many benefits to pool water, regardless of the customers’ preference for halogen or biguanide systems. Optimizer’s unique chemistry is effective at providing a customer with softer feeling water that is sparkling clear.

What is in the new Optimizer?
Optimizer contains boric acid, a more pH neutral than other boron-containing products like sodium tetraborate pentahydrate. Since the product does not significantly impact pH, application of other balancers is not required to maintain water balance as part of the initial product application.

What are the expected benefits when using Optimizer?
Customers using Optimizer in their pool will be able to appreciate the experience of sparkling clear pool water and improved swimmer comfort, with water leaving their skin feeling soft and smooth.

Optimizer Plus made algistatic claims. Is this true with Optimizer?
Optimizer Plus was an EPA-registered algistat that was recommended for use in pool to suppress algae growth. New Optimizer is not an EPA registered product and is recommended for use in pool to enhance water clarity and provide softer smoother water.

How much optimizers do I need to add?
Customers experience the most benefits with a borate residual of 35 ppm, which can be obtained by adding 1.5 lbs. Optimizer per 1,000 gallons of pool water. Larger amounts can be divided into thirds; allow 30 minutes of circulation before adding each dose.

How do I add Optimizer?
Optimizer can be added through the skimmer to allow for an easier and convenient application. Slowly add the required amount of Optimizer into the pool skimmer with the pump and circulation system on. Allow pool water to circulate for 4-8 hours after application.

How long should swimmers wait before entering the water after application of Optimizer?
When applied into the skimmer according to label directions, swimmers can enter the water fifteen minutes after product addition, provided the sanitizer residual and pH are within recommended ranges.

Will Optimizer affect the water balance?
Optimizer is slightly acidic and therefore does not require additional balancers. Always test the water prior to use to be sure water is balanced and within recommended ranges.

Is Optimizer compatible with all sanitizer systems, pool types?
Optimizer is compatible with all sanitizers including halogen and biguanide, in all pool surface types. It is also compatible with all balancers and ancillary products.

Benefits of Adding Borates to your pool:
Adding Borates to your pool to achieve a level of 30-50 ppm has many benefits. I have a series of videos on Borates and highly recommend adding Borates to your pool. I have added Borates to my pool and couldn't be happier. Results are well worth it.

Here are the proven benefits of having a Borate level of 30-50 ppm:

Lower Chlorine usage: The Borate helps reduce chlorine usage by eliminating Carbon Dioxide and also by keeping the pH stable. Chlorine last longer when the pH is right at 7.6-7.8.

pH is stable: The pH won't change much in a pool with Borate in it. So, if you have a salt water pool this is a must since the pH tends to rise dramatically.

Water is more sparkling: The Borate is more reflective so when the Sun hits the pool the water will really sparkle.

Softer and less irritating water: The water feels softer and doesn't burn your eyes. It also will keep your skin and hair hydrated so after swimming your skin won't be as dried out.

Less Algae growth: Boric Acid is a known Biostat. This prevents the algae cell from forming and multiplying. Thus a pool with a Borate level between 30-50 ppm will prevent algae growth.

Keeps your Salt Cell clean: Since the pH is more stable the salt cell won't get as much calcium build-up and a slight sequestering element of the borates also reduces calcium in the water.

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Summertime and your Swimming Pool

Summer can be a challenging time for your swimming pool care. The days are longer, some regions have temperatures of over 100 degrees for weeks on end and the UV index is at the highest point. All of this will make maintaining a pool much more difficult. Here are some helpful tips for you so that you can make it through the Summer season with a sparkling clear blue pool.

One thing that is often overlooked is the pool’s filtration system. At the beginning of each season, you need to make sure the filter is operating properly and is cleaned. I like to clean and inspect my DE and Cartridge filters in March before the season starts here in California. If the grids have tears or the cartridges are old this is the time to replace them. One of the major problems that contribute to algae and pools unable to hold a good chlorine level is a poorly running filtration system. So, make sure the filter is clean and in good running condition.

During the Summer season algae can be a big problem. It can bloom for several reasons, but the primary reason is not adding chlorine to the proper level. Keeping your chlorine at 3.0 ppm to 5.0 ppm is a good idea. If the chlorine zeros out during the week algae can certainly bloom. So, check your chlorine level at least once a week or more and make sure you add chlorine consistently to the pool.

If your Conditioner level, CYA level is too low the chlorine will burn off quickly due to the intense UV rays in the Summer. Try to keep your CYA level at 30-50 ppm and raise it if necessary. If the Conditioner level gets too high, over 100 ppm then the chlorine becomes less effective. In this case, you will have to literally keep the chlorine at 10 ppm each week just to prevent algae growth. So, adjusting the CYA level in the pool is also a critical factor in the Summer.

The water level is one thing that is often overlooked during the season and it is one thing that can turn your pool green very quickly. Older pools do not have the main drain and skimmer connected and most of the older pools do not have the ability to turn off the skimmer if the water gets too low. This means that when the water level gets below the skimmer, the pool will begin to suck air. The pump will stop running and the pool water will not circulate. So, until you add water and correct this the pool will in effect stop running for that week. In 100-degree weather, this can easily lead to algae and a green pool.

If you do see any algae in the pool you will want to attack it aggressively. Failure to do this will result in a large algae bloom. Even a small amount in the step area can bloom into algae all over the pool walls in a few days. This is because the algae will use up the chlorine in the pool which will lead to it spreading rapidly. The best defense is prevention. You can start the season with a PoolRX in the pool, use a Poly Quat 60 or add Borates to your pool to bring it to 30-50 ppm. All these steps will help prevent algae in your pool during the season.

The point here is to be proactive with your pool care in the Summer. Start with a clean filter. Keep the chlorine level up, tread algae when you see it and fill your pool to keep the water circulating properly.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Primate X 6 ft Extension for your Primate Pole - Easy way to extend your pool pole

The Primate Carbon Fiber pole is one of the best new pool poles on the market today. To make it more versatile in larger pools Primate Pool Tools has developed a unique 6-foot extension known simply as the Primate X. Adding one Primate X to your existing Primate Pole will allow you to extend the pole to 22 ft. This is perfect for those larger pools, Commercial Pools, and Infinity Edge pools.

The Primate X is made out of the same spun Carbon Fiber making it extremely strong and the front is also reinforced with fiberglass. Since it is made out of Carbon Fiber it weighs less than 1 lbs. Imagine a pole 22 feet in length that weighs only 3 lbs!

Here is more about the Primate Pole:
This is probably the most unique 3-piece pool service pole (Tri-Pole) that I have ever used.  The Primate 3X Pole is also the most compact and lightweight pole that I have used also. It collapses down to 6 ft and extends to 15.6 ft and weighs only 2 lbs. 4 oz.  Oh, and it is made from Carbon Fiber making it 3 times stronger than a standard aluminum pole.

For me, the main selling point of the Primate 3X Pole is how light this pole is! It weighs just 2.4 lbs. so you barely even feel like you are holding a service pole. It is amazingly light and easy to carry and use.  After using it for a week I feel like I couldn’t go back to a standard pole because of how light the Primate pole is. I feel like something this light can’t be strong enough to use day and day out, but the Carbon Fiber Material is deceiving.  The pole is 3 times stronger than an aluminum service pole making it a great choice for everyday pool service use. The manufacturer doesn’t claim it is indestructible, but it sure feels like it, especially with the reinforced first section of the pole.
The unique Lever Lock is another feature that makes the Primate Pole stand out. It is the same locking device found on tree trimmers and the like and it makes closing and opening the 2nd pole section a breeze. Simply snap open the Lever Lock, slide the pole out and lock it in place. In most cases, you will be using only the first 2 pole sections in skimming and brushing a pool, so this makes extending the pole quick and easy. It is truly a unique feature on a pool pole and the Lever Lock works great.
Here are some more great features of the Primate 3X Pole from the manufacturer:
Does not absorb temperature like metal, will never be scalding hot or ice cold to the touch.
Better grip/traction than aluminum.

Because of its strength (does not bend or warp) it moves through the water easier when submerged.

Lighter than all heavy duty metal and fiberglass poles at 2lbs 4oz. We've had veteran service guys with arthritis, lower back problems, and shoulder/elbow problems all tell us it's easier on their injuries!
The World's Strongest Service Pole!
Quality materials make quality tools, built from ultra-strong CARBON FIBER and reinforced with fiberglass, our design is lighter and three times stronger than aluminum, making it the most durable pole available on the market.

Unique lever Lock!
Our lever locking system is a game changer. This minimalist design lets you make length adjustments with ONE EASY ACTION. Flip the lever open to loosen and make your adjustment and snap it back down to lock in place.

Familiar and Fast!
Adjusting the third extension of our pole is just as quick, and familiar. This length of the pole is equipped with TWO SNAP LOCKS. Simply follow the red guide to line the internal V-clips with the holes and lock it in place as you would any standard tool.

At two pounds four ounces, our carbon fiber design is HALF THE WEIGHT of a standard three-piece service pole. At 6 ft collapsed it sits comfortably and safely inside all truck beds.
The Primate Pole is designed to last for years and it is a premium service pole which is reflected in the higher price point. You are also investing in a pole that is super lightweight, super strong and very easy to use and store.

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Friday, May 10, 2019 Pool Routing Software

Running a pool service business is no easy task. The billing alone can take hours and it can be a frustrating experience. But what if there was a program where you can enter items and prices daily on your route on the job site and then at the end of the month you could push a button and everything for all your service accounts can automatically be entered into the customer’s bill. Instead of hours you now spend just 15 minutes a day with your billing.  can do just that and more. It was designed by a pool service professional with the pool service pro in mind. It not only can do the billing for you but there are other outstanding features that make it the total Routing Software package. Here are just a few of the features of the software below.

“Save Time and Stay Organized. Being a power user has never been so easy!

Manage your routes, employees, billing, collections, and repairs like a pro!

Online Invoicing & Online Payments Included!
Customers receive their invoices instantly! You collect online payments within minutes of signing up!

One-Click Book Keeping!
Keep your customers up-to-date! With one click:
         Text a reminder to bring accounts current & pay online
          Send an email reminder to make a payment
         Print a late notice showing past payments and invoices
        Write off unreceived payments as bad debt

Run Your Billing in Minutes!
Create your invoices with just three clicks. On the go, or from your home:
`       Add extra work to that month's invoice
          Edit your invoice
          Email all invoices
          Print all invoices
         Update customer information and more!

Get Bids approved online
Stop waiting for approvals on your bids. The customer can approve your bid while they are at work, or at the mall or even at their kid's soccer game using their phone. You will receive a email with their signature for approval and their contact info to easily schedule the work. 

Do you have repairs to schedule?
Easily schedule repairs and keep track of up to 20 employees completing repairs. It's so easy!
          Calendar views by Month
         Calendar views by Week
          Calendar views by Day
          Calendar summary list

View Gate/Lock Codes
Never get stuck without the front gate code or combination to gain entrance
         View All Customer's Codes with one click
          Perfect for your phone/tablet
          Don't write down codes anymore
         Stop searching for the right code”

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Hayward VS OMNI with Alexa Voice Control

The Hayward VS Omni with Smart Pool Control is one of the most innovative ways to control your pool equipment on the market today. One of the nice features is that it also works with Amazon Alexa Voice Commands. So if you use your Alexa for everything around your house, you can now also use it to control your pool equipment.

Here are some of the steps to get started:

The voice commands are really easy to master, and the Alexa App does a great job of including a variety of commands that are useful and practical. Here are a few for you below.

Alexa, “Open Hayward”
Alexa,” Ask Hayward for help”
To exit the tutorial say: “Alexa, stop”
Alexa, “Ask Hayward for status”
Alexa, Ask “Hayward for {pool} status”
Alexa, “Ask Hayward for {spa} status”

Turn Equipment ON/OFF:
Alexa, “Ask Hayward to turn ON {Pool} filter pump”
Alexa, “Ask Hayward to turn OFF {Spa} bubbler”  
Alexa, “Ask Hayward to turn EVERYTHING OFF Adjust Pump Speeds”
Alexa, Ask Hayward to set my {Pool} filter pump to (high) speed”
Alexa, “Ask Hayward to adjust my {Spa} filter pump to (50%)”

Adjust Heater Temperatures:
Alexa,” Ask Hayward to set my {Pool} heater to (85) degrees”
Alexa, “Ask Hayward to adjust my {Spa} heater to (100) degrees”

Adjust Lights:
Alexa, “Ask Hayward to set my {Pool} lights to (voodoo lounge)”
Alexa, “Ask Hayward to change my {Spa} light to (deep blue sea)”

Turn Themes ON/OFF:
Alexa, “Ask Hayward to turn ON {Spa Party}”
Alexa, “Ask Hayward to turn OFF my {Pool Party}”
Here is more about the VS OMNI with Smart Pool Control:

The VS OMNI Variable Speed Pumps with Smart Pool Control is the easiest way to fully automate your entire equipment pad. I am not just talking about controlling the Variable speed Pump from the OmniLogic App but controlling every piece of equipment from the pool and spa lights, heater, cleaner booster pump, water feature pumps, salt system, spa booster pump, spa air blower and more. The Smart Pool Control can automate everything on your existing equipment pad. The OMNI VS Pump and Smart Pool control is backed by an industry leading 4-year warranty (TriStar 950)!

There are 4 different OMNI VS pumps to choose from. The TriStar 950 is the top of the line version with 2.7 total HP and the latest version comes with reversible voltage. This means that you can wire it at 110V or at 220V. This is great if you have an older pool without a standard 220V connection that most Variable Speed Pumps require. Just note that if you do wire it at 110V the total HP of the pump will be throttled down to about half the 2.7 HP that it is rated for. This is the pump that I would recommend for most pools that are medium to large in size and of course for those who are running their pool equipment on 110V. You can also purchase the TriStar 900, Super Pump Vs 700 and the MaxFlo Vs 500 with the Smart Pool Control.

No matter which OMNI VS pump you choose the Smart Pool Control is a real game changer for the industry.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Best Chlorine Types for your Pool

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 your 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 overuse 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 the 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 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

Friday, May 3, 2019

Step by Step Cleaning Procedure for your Pool

In this article, I go over the Step by Step procedure I take when I service a swimming pool. This is a basic video guide on how to maintain a swimming pool for either a homeowner or pool service professional. I walk you thru the steps I take on a pool from beginning to end.

The very first thing I do is a scan of the pool for anything unusual. A dead Gopher on the pool floor would be something noteworthy. I also can assess the pools clarity level by just eyeballing it and can pretty much tell if there is a chemistry issue – like no Chlorine or Combined Chlorine.

I do all these steps in order so not to forget to do something. Doing this over and over on a pool route puts your brain in robot mode and you can't think back two stops previous and try to remember if you added chemicals or not. So, if you do the steps in order chances are you won't forget anything.

Step One: Check the Chemicals
The first thing I do is check the water chemistry. There are several test factors that you need to be aware of and not all of them need to be done weekly. Each week you do need to check the Chlorine level – if you have the right test kit you can also check for Total Chlorine. But at a minimum, you need to get the Free Chlorine level. You should also check the pH each week, or how acidic or alkaline the water is. If the pH is too low or too high it can have some significant effects on the pool water quality and the pool surface itself.

I check the Alkalinity level once a month as a rule. Since the Alkalinity level is tied into the pH it normally does not move dramatically in one direction or the other. For a new pool plaster, it can move more so, in that case, I check it every week for the first three months. But once the plaster cures or if you have another surface type like Vinyl or Fiberglass the Alkalinity is stable.

The Calcium Hardness level also does not move much so I check that every three months. Again, for a new pool plaster, you will need to check it more often but for an established pool, it is stable.

I check the CYA or Cyanuric Acid level at the beginning of the season – here that is in April and maybe again if I notice any water issues like low chlorine each week.

If you have a Salt Water Pool I check the salt level also at the beginning of the season and then again if problems arise. Since the salt in the water does not evaporate it stays stable all season long

Here are the Ideal Ranges for the Test Factors:
FC – Free Chlorine 1.5-3 ppm
CC – Combined Chlorine 0.5 <
BR – Bromine 4-6 ppm
PH – Acidity/Alkalinity 7.4-7.8
TA – Total Alkalinity 80-120
CH – Calcium Hardness 220-350 *
CYA – Cyanuric Acid 30-80 ppm
SALT 2800- 3100 ppm > **

* Levels may be lower in a Vinyl or Fiberglass Pool
** Depending on the salt system brand

Step Two: Check the Equipment & Empty the Baskets
Keeping the pump basket and skimmer basket clean and empty each week is the most critical thing you can do for water circulation purposes. You can have a clean filter but still, have a cloudy pool or a pool with algae because of a clogged pump basket.

So, it is essential to empty both the pump basket and skimmer basket each week of service. I also do a general check of the equipment including checking the filter pressure and listening for any motor noises that will indicate a problem. I also check the timer or automated system for any issues. Last, I scan for any water leaks around the equipment area. Part of the job is making sure everything is running well each week.

Step Three: Clean the pool
Keeping the pool clean each week helps to make the pool look good and reduces chemical use and prevents equipment failure. So, weekly cleaning is important. If you are pressed for time you can also invest in a good automatic cleaner to help with weekly maintenance. But manual cleaning still works well. Basically, you want to skim all of the leaves off of the top and bottom, clean the tiles, vacuum the bottom and brush the walls and step areas. All of this will keep the pool looking good as well as prevent algae and possibly staining of the pool.

Step Four: Add Chemicals
It is important to do these steps in order. You can add chemicals if you want after testing the water but keep the same routine at each pool. That way later in the day, you won't be trying to think back and ask yourself, “Did I add acid twice at that account?” Or, “I think I added some chlorine at the Smith residents, right?” I can't remember what I had for breakfast on a good day, so do yourself a favor and do things in order.

Basically, you add chlorine in some form to sanitize the water, add Muriatic Acid to lower the pH, add Borax or Soda Ash to raise the pH and you add Baking Soda to raise the Alkalinity. This is all you need in most cases. Pretty simple.
I don't spend a lot of time on treating algae as I have several videos on my YouTube Channel that goes over that in detail.

Here is the video that shows all these steps for you. I also have a list of other videos that you can refer to in more detail below. So, if you follow these simple steps each week at your own pool or on a service route, you should be good to go.