Thursday, February 27, 2020

Cures for high swimming pool filter PSI

Let’s rule out the most dangerous situation of high filter PSI which is a blockage in the line. This is probably the rarest but can be the deadliest as your filter tank could explode. Typically, it is something after your heater, maybe a broken check valve or debris lodged in your salt cell. On even rarer occasions I have had customers deadhead their pool return by over-rotating the Jandy Valve past the safety notches. Typically a filter that has a blockage will have the PSI spike rapidly and the skimmer will have poor flow.

The most obvious reason for the high PSI is that the filter is dirty. Simply cleaning the filter or backwashing it if you have a D.E. Or Sand Filter will usually lower the PSI down to the acceptable range. The clean starting filter PSI will vary from filter to filter, some hover around 10-15 PSI but many cartridge filters start at 20 PSI. The best way to know in your case is to clean the filter and then mark on the gauge the clean PSI for your particular filter.

A general rule of thumb is that if the PSI goes up by 10, if it is at 15 and goes up to 25, then cleaning or backwashing is due. This is the best way to lower down high filter pressure and get the pool circulating again.

After cleaning the filter or backwashing it the filter pressure should drop. If it goes back up within a day or week there could be a few reasons for this. One, the grids or cartridges are worn out and need to be replaced. If you have a Sand Filter the sand could be really dirty and you will need to clean it or replace it. Also, if the pool was recently green or cloudy, the filter could be getting filled up quickly with organic matter. Cleaning the filter again usually will solve the issue. If the D.E. Filter grids have a tear or the top manifold is cracked, the filter pressure can rise rapidly after cleaning.

If you have a Return Side cleaner connected to your pool like a Polaris 360, the PSI may rise while it is connected due to the backpressure created by closing off a return line and by the cleaners connection itself. This is normal and nothing to be concerned about. The pressure may also be higher by as much as 10 PSI when you switch the valves to spa mode. The backpressure created by the spa jets will cause the filter pressure to rise. A water feature may also cause the filter PSI to rise.

So these are basically the reasons why your pool filter pressure will rise.

If you have low pool filter pressure a number of things may also cause this. The most common reason is some debris is stuck in the pool impeller, restricting it and causing the pump to pull less water. A suction leak like a worn pump lid o-ring will also cause low filter pressure. A problem with the pump's diffuser can also cause this.

Some obvious causes are also a clogged pool pump basket, a clogged skimmer basket and low water in the pool. Too much suction at the side port towards a suction side cleaner can also cause lower pool filter pressure. A clogged inlet line can also be the cause of low filter pressure. If you have a variable speed pump and you are running it at or below 1400 RPM, the filter pressure PSI will also read low.

A broken filter gauge can also create a false PSI reading – either too high or too low, so make sure the gauge is in good working order. They are easy to change and it will only take you a couple of minutes to do it.

I mention that a flow gauge like the FlowVis would be a good investment and if you really want to get the best idea of your pool's actual flow, I suggest you install one. That way no matter what the PSI on the gauge, you can see from the flow meter how much water is actually flowing into the pool. This is the best way to monitor your pool's actual flow.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Jacuzzi JPV 300 Cordless Battery Operated Rechargeable Pool & Spa Vacuum

The Jacuzzi® JPV300 Cordless Professional Pool & Spa Vacuum is a great tool that fits in perfectly between skimming your pool and manually vacuuming your pool with a system vacuum. It is priced just under $230.00 making it an affordable tool for your pool or spa maintenance. It is ideal for spas, above ground pools and small to medium in-ground pools. It is an extremely convenient way to vacuum your pool or spa and the fact that it is cordless allows you to just connect it to your pool pole and drop it right in. A huge time saver.

Here are some of the features of the JPV 300:
LPM Part #: 58202
Up to 1-hour run time on a full charge
10.5 inch Wide Vacuum Head
Advanced Motor. Lithium Battery, Cordless, and Fully Rechargeable
Multi-Layered Filter Cone to catch debris
High Volume Debris Chamber and Unique Filtration System
Includes Vacuum Head, Debris Chamber, Filter Assembly, Cleaner Body, Pool Pole Adapter, and Battery Charger
Fully Charges in less than 4 hours
2-Year Warranty
Push Button On/Off

One of the things that I like the best about the JPV 300 is the very large debris chamber. It can pick up large amounts of debris before needing to be emptied and the filter cone in front traps dirt and debris extremely well. You will find the JPV 300 to be a great all-purpose vacuum for your pool or spa.

It is also 100% water sealed so when you go to recharge it there is no need to open up a charging port. This will make this cleaner extremely long lasting and the durable aluminum handle on back is another strong feature of this cleaner. It is built to last and is backed by a 2-year limited warranty by Jacuzzi. You are getting a very well made and solid product for the price point.

I like the fact that the JPV 300 can pick up large leaf debris as well as the smaller dirt and debris making this a great all-purpose vacuum.  It has great power and size and is great for not only spas and small above ground pools, but you can also easily vacuum a full size pool with it. I use it primarily for spas and to spot vacuum a pool and the step areas and the fact that it last for up to 1-hour on a single charge makes it very useful for those larger pools.

You will be impressed by the power and usefulness of the JPV 300. It is a great portable vacuum and extremely well made.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Treating Cloudy Swimming Pool Water

Cloudy pool water is a very common issue and it can be both easy to fix as well as complicated depending on the cause. Often it can be a combination of things causing the cloudy water and this will require a combination of things to clear up the pool.

Here is a common scenario that you may run into if it is multiple issues causing the cloudy water. Say there was a pool party over the weekend and the pool is very cloudy on Monday. It could be a combination of the heavy bather load plus the pool running out of chlorine or the chlorine combining with the organics in the water creating Combined Chlorine or the filter is dirty due to the suntan lotion and organics in the water. You can see how all of this comes together and how each of these can contribute to the cloudy water.

So, it is not always as simple as the causes and solutions below. If it is a combination of things it may take longer to correct it, or you may need to do more steps. For example, in the above combination, you can backwash the pool filter or take it apart and clean it. Run the pool pump for 24 hours and add chlorine to a shock level of 10 ppm. If you just added the chlorine but did not clean the filter or run the pool 24 hours the cloudy water issue may not go away. Or if you cleaned the filter and ran the pool for 24 hours but didn’t raise the chlorine level to 10 ppm the cloudy water may persist. Below are some common causes and the solutions but keep in mind you may need to combine the solutions in a scenario with multiple causes.

#1 Cause: No chlorine in the pool. It seems like a simple thing but it happens all the time. If you get busy and forget to check the pool, unusually hot weather, heavy rain or a pool party all can zero out your chlorine level.

Solution: Simply bringing the level of chlorine up to 10 ppm in your pool will reverse the cloudy water - known as "Shocking the pool." Also, run your pool for a longer time to help speed up the process.

#2 Cause: Combined Chlorine. Ever smell a chemical like the smell at a hotel or the local YMCA? Chlorine has no odor and what you are smelling is Combined Chlorine. Chloramines are what is now in the water and not only do you get an ammonia smell but the water will be cloudy.

Solution: Raising the chlorine to 10 ppm will cure this. Sometimes you will need to raise it to 20 ppm, basically, super chlorinate the pool to kill the Ammonia that has formed in the water.

#3 Cause: Not running the pool long enough. You need at least one cycle of water through your pool each day. One cycle is all the pool water going through the pool filter and then back into the pool. If the chlorine is fine but the water is cloudy chances are you are not running the pool long enough.

Solution: Set your pool to run longer.

#4 Cause: A filter leak. This happens mainly with D.E. filters and a filter leak can cause your water to be very cloudy or partly cloudy.

Solution: Take the filter apart and inspect it and if there are broken grids simply replacing them will solve the problem.

#5 Cause: Adding Soda Ash or Baking Soda to the pool. When you add a base to the pool it can become cloudy for a short period of time. After a few hours or by the next day it should clear up. A good way to avoid this is to add the base directly to the skimmer.

Solution: Manually vacuum up the dust on the pool bottom, the pool will clear up very quickly,

#6 Cause: High Alkalinity or High Calcium Hardness. Not very common but this could also cause your pool to be cloudy. But these need to be very high for this to happen.

Solution: Add Muriatic Acid to lower down the Alkalinity.
These are the basic causes for cloudy pool water and they are easily corrected. It could also be something unusual but these are the most common causes I run into on my pool route.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Waterway Power Defender 270 Variable Speed Pump Overview

The Waterway Power Defender Variable Speed pump is a great new entry into the Variable Speed pump market. The Variable Speed Pump market is, of course, a market dominated by the big three manufacturers Pentair, Hayward and Jandy. But I think there is plenty of room for smaller companies like Waterway, especially when they make a quality VS pump like the Power Defender.

Let me touch on what I think are the best features of this pump and why I think it a VS pump you may want to seriously consider upgrading to. The motor on the back is made by Century Motors. This is the same company that makes the VS motors found on the back of the Hayward and Jandy VS pumps. In fact, it is the same exact motor that is on the Jandy VS pump. The only difference is the control panel on top of the pump. That is designed and manufactured by Century Motors themselves. The Wet End or front plastic area is of course made by Waterway and it is a product designed and manufactured here in the USA. It has been pressure tested to 50 PSI and is made out of very strong plastic. Advantage Manufacturing which makes portable pump systems has been using the Waterway Wet End for years now because they are extremely durable.

The pump is shipped with a lot of key parts. It comes with two CPVC Unions with an added bonus of being swivel unions to help align the plumbing with your existing setup. This means you can actually move the plastic pipe at different angles on the union to perfectly align it with the old existing plumbing.  Also included are many optional plastic bases to raise up and lower the pump down so that the inlet lines up perfectly with where your old pump was sitting. Four bases of different heights are included in the box. This is extremely helpful if your equipment sits on a cement pad. Now you can simply select the correct base to line up the Power Defender VS Pump without remodeling your equipment pad.

I think the best feature of this pump is the AUX relay that will allow you to connect a Salt Water System or a Cleaner Booster Pump directly to the back of the pump. This means that you can set the Salt Water System to activate when the pump reaches a set RPM. For instance, say you want your Salt System to turn on for 8 hours per day. Simply set the AUX activation speed to 2500 RPM and when the pump reaches that speed the AUX relay will activate and send power to the Salt System. You can set the AUX to time out after 8 hours or simply set the 2500 RPM speed to run for 8 hours per day. Once the pump drops below 2500 RPM the AUX relay will turn the Salt System off. You can do the same thing if you wanted to connect a Cleaner Booster Pump instead. This will eliminate a need for a separate timer to run your Salt System or Cleaner Booster Pump. Not you can only connect one of these to the AUX relay but it is a great feature to have included on a VS pump.

The Power Defender Pump also features a built-in Freeze Protect Mode and a Time Out Mode that can be set to 30 minutes up to 24 hours. This is a great feature to have included on any pump and the fact that you can set and adjust both the Freeze Protect and Time Out mode is an added bonus.
The Power Defender Pump comes loaded with some great features and it is backed by a two-year manufacturer warranty. It would be a great choice for a Variable Speed Pump for your pool.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

PoolRx Frequently Asked Questions

I am a strong believer in the PoolRx product because I have personally used it and it works extremely well. PoolRx is a simple way to keep your pool algae free all season long. It is also effective in cleaning a green pool and a side benefit of the product is that you will use less chlorine in the pool all season long. 

PoolRx is a Mineral Technology does two very simple things when used in your pool or spa; it eliminates all algae and will allow you to use less chlorine during the pool season. The active ingredient is Copper Sulphate Pentahydrate (chelated).

What Chelated means is that the metals in the PoolRx have been bonded to form two coordinated bonds similar to what Metal Sequestering Agents do. This means that the Metal Ions will remain in the PoolRx unit with no metal ions being introduced into the pool or spa water. PoolRx is Chelated so the metal ions stay within the PoolRx unit itself.

Make sure that you choose the right size PoolRX unit so that the treatment will be effective. You can place it either in your skimmer or pump basket. When you first insert the unit run your pool for 3-4 hours. Then run it the normal cycle to get at least one full cycle of water from the pool, into the filter and back into the pool again. The PoolRx unit should last 4-6 months.

PoolRx eliminates all algae fast. Even microalgae that you can't see but uses up the chlorine in your pool.

PoolRx is ideal for a saltwater pool also. It will extend the life of your salt cell as you run the system at a lower output while PoolRx is present in the pool, typically 50% less output. PoolRx minerals also include a de-scaler that will prevent scale from attaching to the salt cell meaning less cleaning of the cell is needed. Also since it is generating less, the pH won't rise as high requiring less acid to be added to the pool. 

You can also use PoolRx to clear up a green pool. Fred goes over the process in detail in the Podcast
and I have done this myself so I know it is very effective. Just remember that a lot of the minerals will be used up in clearing up the pool so a Booster Pack will be needed.

For step by step instructions in clearing up a green pool:

If you are a homeowner purchasing PoolRx for your pool will save you money on all of your chemicals including chlorine (liquid or tablets), clarifiers, Phosphate Removers, and Shock. The price of the PoolRx unit will pay for itself over the course of the season and as a bonus, your water will remain algae free. So the $60-$90 investment is well worth it and to get your money's worth to add the PoolRx right at the beginning of the season.

For the Pool Service Professional PoolRx is something that you would add on and charge your customers for. Customers differ and some may want a detailed explanation of what PoolRx does and is while others will not mind at all. To help in this PoolRx has a section on their website dedicated to Pool Service Professionals. You must register first and then you will have access to documentation and form letters that you can send to your customers.

If you are a Pool Service Professional and need the form letters to help sell PoolRx to your customers go to their website and register your business or use the password below.

Password: Profits

PoolRx is a great way to keep your pool and customer's pools algae free all season long.  It is easy to use and comes in different sizes for all your pool care needs.

Related Videos:
PoolRx Overview and Use Video: Eliminates and Prevents all Algae:
PoolRx will Solve: Algae Every Week, Constant Low Chlorine Levels, High Phosphates:
Green Pool Clean Up a Step by Step Video Guide: Using PoolRx:
PoolRx Spa Unit for Crystal Clear Water, Algae-Free Water, and Use Less Chlorine Each Week!:
Using PoolRx to Start the Season and to Clear up a Green Pool:
PoolRx Explained, an Interview with Fred Schweer of PoolRx:

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Pool Refresh Adds a Fresh Flower Scent to your Pool & Spa

One of the side effects of swimming is that your skin may get dried out by being in the water for long periods of time. I always thought it would be a great product idea if there was something you could add to your pool before swimming that would prevent this. Turns out there is. InSPAration is a company that has been around since 1975 and specialized in those little spa scents that you see on the pool store counters. InSPAration now makes a product for your pool called Pool Refresh which has a moisturizer in it that prevents dry skin after swimming.

Here is more from the manufacturer:

This inSPAration Pool Water Freshener and Moisturizer is the perfect weekly treatment to keep your skin moisturized and your swimming pool fresh and clean.
Pool Chemical Features
Reduces the effects of pool water hardness
Leaves skin and hair feeling soft and moisturized
Mask chlorine or chemical odors in the swimming pool
Keep pools fresh all year long
The perfect weekly treatment for swimming pools
Dosage: 5oz for Every 15,000 Gallons
20oz Bottle

“This inSPAration Pool Water Freshener and Moisturizer is great for keeping your pool fresh all year long by masking chlorine and chemical odors, without affecting your water chemistry. It has a skin moisturizer in the formula to reduce irritation while making your skin feel soft and moisturized. Each bottle contains a one-month supply for the average swimming pool. Add directly into skimmer weekly or after every chemical treatment.”

In my testing of the product I found that the flowery scent was the real deal. It wasn’t overpowering in any way, but you can smell it when you stood next to the pool. The scent alone to me is a big selling point. This is perfect for those pool parties and you only need to add it about 1 hour before. I also like the fact that you need only 5 oz per 15,000 gallons each week which means one bottle should last you a month if you have an average size pool.
You can find the Pool Refresh online and also at your local Leslie’s Pool Supplies location.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Saltwater Swimming Pool Facts

Saltwater pools have now been around for over 20 years and are in wide use across many areas of the world. Originally invented for the Australian pool market, the concept quickly spread here to the United States and you can find Salt Water Generators (SWG) in every region of the country. All of the major manufacturers make a SWG and there are a number of smaller brands on the market also.

So, what exactly is a Saltwater Pool? There are is a lot of misinformation out there and the following points here should clear that up for you.

Do Saltwater Pools use chlorine?
The the process is quite complex but the SWG will take the salt and convert it into chlorine. Yes, I did say chlorine. A Salt Pool is a Chlorine Pool. It just adds chlorine to your pool in a way that is safe and non-toxic. No chemicals to handle or add but the SWG does produce chlorine. So a Saltwater pool is a chlorine pool.  

How much salt is in the water?
The salinity level of the Ocean is 35,000 ppm. A Human tear is 6,000 ppm and your average salt pool is 3,100 to 3,400 ppm. Technically you can barely taste the salt in the water. So no, it won't be like swimming in the ocean. Not even anywhere close. It does look daunting when you initially charge your pool with salt. Depending on your pool size you will need to add 400-800 lbs of salt. It seems like a lot but in reality, it is not. At least not like the Ocean. One ppm is like a single penny in $10,000 dollars. Basically, the amount of salt in your pool, if it were converted to money, would be like $34.00 in $10,000.

Will a Saltwater Pool save me money?
No, the only way to save money on your pool is to fill it with dirt and plant grass over it. Having a pool is an expensive venture no matter how you look at it. A SWG will run you anywhere from $1,000 to $1,600 and every five years you will be swapping out the salt cell and dropping down another $400-$700. If you are even slightly proficient in math you will see that over a course of five years you could have bought a ton of pool chemicals for that amount. A Saltwater Pool will not save you any money, and it will cost you more in the long run.

A Saltwater Pool is corrosive?
My Sister-In-Law lives right on the beach in Newport Ca. All of her light fixtures, iron fencing and even her LCD T. V’s need to be replaced every three or four years. The salt is so powerful from the Ocean that her house 100 yards away is dramatically affected. The T. V’s are safe in the house you would think, but the electronics inside still get destroyed. Not so with your salt pool. The salinity level will not reach such a level to damage your deck or your equipment. Relax and stop hosing off your deck after the kids go swimming, the salt in the water is not at a corrosive level.

Aren’t Salt Water Systems hard to operate?
They are amazingly reliable except for a few brands that you should avoid. The only issue is if the cell gets calcium build-up it will stop producing, but simply cleaning the cell will get it working again. The SWG control panels have gotten more user-friendly over the years and most will tell you the salt level along with LED lights to let you know it is operating correctly. Like anything else a SWG needs some monitoring but usually, works very well with no real issues.

What about the pH in a Saltwater Pool?
Rising pH is a drawback in a Saltwater Pool and it has to do with the SWG production. the pH does rise dramatically in your pool. There are ways to counter this. You can add Borates to your pool to achieve a level of 50 ppm and this will prevent rapid pH climb as the SWG is working. You can also invest a few hundred dollars in a pH (Acid Pump) and let that keep your water in balance. Not a major drawback but something you need to know.

Do Saltwater Pools make your pool easy to maintain and make the water is softer?
This is one of the best benefits of a Saltwater Pool - your pool will be easy to maintain as the SWG adds chlorine to the pool for you. No more handling of harsh chemicals or your chlorine zeroing out allowing your pool to turn on you. Plus, the water is much softer and you won't have any harsh chemical smells to deal with.

There are some great benefits with a Saltwater Pool and it is really up to you if you are willing to invest in a SWG and convert your pool to salt.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Dolphin Proteus DX3 Robotic Cleaner Overview

The Dolphin Proteus DX3 is an entry-level robotic cleaner with a lot of bells and whistles for a robotic cleaner priced at $600. It has a front scrubbing brush, a large debris chamber, wall climbing ability, CleverClean software onboard and a programmable timer. That is a ton of features for a cleaner in this category.

Here is more on the DX3 from the manufacturer:
“Made by Maytronics, a global leader in robotic pool cleaners, the Dolphin Proteus DX3 Robotic Pool Cleaner focuses on delivering clean results and easy maintenance. The Proteus DX3 is constructed with a powerful suction that allows it to easily climb up the walls and seamlessly come back down.
It is equipped with an active brush that spins faster than the speed of the unit itself to scrub away dirt, debris, and bacteria. Once the net basket is full, simply empty and rinses clean. The Proteus DX3 also offers a quick water release, which makes removing the cleaner from the pool a breeze. The Dolphin Proteus DX3 Robotic Pool Cleaner is an affordable and dependable robot with strong suction power.”

Pool Cleaner Features:
For in-ground pools up to 35'
Cleans floor and walls
2 Hour Cleaning duration
Quick water release
50' Long cable
Active brushing action scrubs away algae and bacteria
Net basket filters out leaves, dirt, and debris
Detailed scanning and navigation allow for a full coverage cleaning

More Information:
Cleaning Area  Floor and Walls
Cleaning Cycle 2 hours
Cord/Hose Length        50 ft
GPH     3735 GPH
Installation Type          Residential
Pool Size          Up to 35'
Pool Type        In-Ground
Warranty          1-Year

If you are moving from a suction cleaner to a robotic cleaner and are looking for one that is closer to the price point you are familiar with, but want what I would call real features, The Proteus DX3 is one robotic cleaner you should seriously look at. For the price, you are getting a great cleaner at a bargain price point. Typically cleaners in this category do not use software to control the cleaner, but a simple back and forth pattern. Not the DX3, the CleverClean technology will allow the cleaner to stop and pivot giving it a “smart” cleaning pattern allowing it to completely clean most pools in 2 hours.

The wall climbing ability of the Proteus DX3 is also another feature not often found in this price range. The DX3 will climb the walls to the waterline, leaving your pool completely clean each week. And the wall-climbing ability is really impressive, the cleaner literally climbs out of the pool. Again, most cleaners in this category will only climb the pool walls to the cove or slope of the pool.

The only thing that the DX3 lacks is accord swivel, but with the CleverClean technology, it probably doesn't need anyway. All in all for a robotic cleaner for this price, the Proteus DX3 is excellent.