A pool cover is one of the best investments you can make. Quite simply, pool covers can save you money. They can limit heat loss, reduce water evaporation and minimize chemical use and cleaning time.
You can purchase automatic or power safety covers which provide a solid safety barrier for your pool.
Solar covers or blankets are not for safety but help heat your pool’s water to help you save on heating costs. If you heat your pool, a cover can provide an energy savings of 50% or more, depending on the climate where you live. These covers lie on the water’s surface to insulate the water and also help keep debris out of the pool. Solar covers offer the following energy efficient features: transmittal of sunlight to heat the water and reduction of heat loss.
Winter safety covers are either solid or mesh and should be used when a pool is closed for the season. Safety covers are secured around the perimeter of the pool to prevent people and animals from getting in and to keep dirt and debris out. Safety covers that allow rain water to filter through can prevent dangerous water build up on the cover.
Overall, good pool covers for summer use and winter protection should be included in every wise pool owner’s investment.
Your pool is a lasting investment so you should select a quality professional to assist you with any service needs. Your first step should be to read all about pools and become knowledgeable yourself about pool maintenance and safety. If a problem arises that you aren’t sure how to handle, you can call the National Spa & Pool Institute for a list of dealers in your area. All dealers are not the same. Look for a company with Certified Service Professionals to make sure the people you’re trusting are qualified. Like other professionals you hire; an M.D., D.D.S., or C.P.A., you want to be sure your pool technician is is professionally competent. Verify references for any dealer you call and review any contracts carefully before signing. A good contract will help both you and your pool professional.
There’s nothing quite like sparkling clean pool water on a hot summer’s day and once you have gotten your water fresh and clear it’s not hard to maintain it. The first step is to test it regularly and take your water sample at the same of day each time you test. The NSPI recommends using one of several testing devices, such as a water test kit, to determine such things as water balance and pH levels.
A good test kit should test for chlorine, pH, acid demand, base demand, and total alkalinity. Carefully read and follow the instructions supplied by your dealer and the manufacturers of both your test kit and the chemicals you use. Store your test kit indoors at room temperature away from direct sunlight and chemicals. Remember to always keep the test kit out of children’s reach and replace it at least once a year.
In recent years, water test strips have provided an alternative to the traditional test kit. They are similar to those used by medical facilities. Electronic measuring devices are also available to the public and perform many of the traditional functions of water test kits. Whichever you choose, learn to use your test equipment properly and handle all pool chemicals carefully. Keeping your pool water clean and clear is simply a matter of good maintenance!
Yes, your hair can become damaged from swimming in chlorinated pools. The longer or more frequently you swim, the greater damage your hair may receive. Chlorine is a bleach and and it can cause the color of your hair to change. You will probably notice that your hair becomes dull as you spend more time in your chlorinated pool. Permed hair, which is already chemically treated, tends to absorb even more chlorine and can become over processed.
If you are worried about your hair, you can coat it with a cream rinse and wear a rubber swimming cap when you go into the water. This will help to protect your hair from absorbing chlorine and can also act as a hot oil treatment when your body temperature rises.
Contrary to popular belief, too much chlorine does not cause hair to turn green. Exposure to hard metals, particularly copper, iron and manganese, are to blame for this problem.
Water loss during the winter months is a common experience and may not be an indication of a problem. Solid covers placed on top of the pool can accumulate large amounts of water, snow and ice. Water is then lost from the pool due to displacement which is caused by the excess weight. It is possible, however, that the swimming pool may be losing water due to a leak in the structure, fixtures or circulation lines which have not been properly winterized. For example, if a 20 x 40 pool loses 1 inch of water per day, that means almost 15,000 gallons of water must be replaced per month to make up for this loss. That’s a lot of water!
To calculate your water loss multiply the length of your swimming pool times the width times the inches of water lost times .625. For example, in the above illustration a 20 x 40 pool has a surface area of 800 square feet (20 x 40=800) then times 30 days in a month (8000 x 30=24,000). Finally, multiply 24,000 times .625 (24,000 x .625=15,000). This is the approximate amount of water lost in a 20 x 40 pool losing one inch of water per day for 30 days.
There are several causes for water loss in a swimming pool. An outdoor pool can lose up to a quarter of an inch per day due to evaporation. An indoor pool with a dehumidifier in the room can lose much more. Splashing and playing in the pool can also cause water loss. A little detective work may be necessary to determine if you have a leak or just normal water loss.
First, lets go through the basics. Is your pool cover off? Is your pool up and running? Is your liner floating? Spring brings us many surprises…not all of them good. Rain, snow and ice accumulating on a solid cover over the winter months can displace the pool water underneath. Pumping water off the cover is advisable, however if there are holes in the cover, you may pump water through the holes and out of the pool. Remove the solid cover, fill the pool and wait until after your pool is running for a time before evaluating water loss. If your liner is floating due to ground water, the pool water can be pushed up and out of the pool. When the ground water subsides, the liner settles and it appears as if you have a leak.
Adjusting chemicals and vacuuming the pool in the early swim season may include backwashing to waste a lot more often. This will also lower the water level but is not a cause to worry.
After you have checked these items, and if you’re still not sure if you have a problem, we suggest you do the Bucket Test. This is a simple way to help diagnose if you have a problem and if so where that problem might be. We have included the directions for this test on the attached sheet. Also note any drips, puddles or wet areas on the deck, equipment area or yard around the pool. Your visual observations can save us time in determining the precise location of a leak. We can then proceed to do a pressure test to determine where plumbing leaks are located or possibly a dye test to determine liner or structural leaks. If major repairs or liner replacement is advisable, we will get you a timely estimate. Remember, the dryer the weather and yard, the better it is to make these determinations. So, you may wish to take advantage of the dry days when they come.
Please feel free to call us if you are experiencing any problems or if you need answers to any pool questions. If you suspect a leak or other problems and are scheduling an opening, be sure to mention it when you call.
The Bucket Test