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Early Summer 2008 - Preparing Your Pool for Summer
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Early Summer 2008 - Preparing Your Pool for Summer

In this Issue:

Swimming Pool Chemical Automation is Now Affordable for Everyone!

Pool maintenance has never been easier. Public pools have used chemical automation systems for years to keep chlorine and pH levels balanced. And now the same kind of equipment is available to every swimming pool owner. Chemical Automation Technologies (CAT) has introduced the "CAT 1000". This is a professional quality pH controller that monitors the precise pH of your pool water and automatically delivers balancing chemicals to maintain perfect pH balance at all times.

This system by itself takes much of the time and energy out of maintaining your pool water, but when paired with a salt chlorine generator your pool virtually takes care of itself! Both pH and Chlorine levels will stay within their proper ranges all summer long all by themselves.

To celebrate the start of the swimming pool season we are offering both the CAT 1000 pH Controller and the ElectroChlor Salt Water Chlorinator at special prices. In addition, if you purchase both items together we will take an additional 10% off of the total price. Simply add both items to your shopping cart and the discount will automatically be applied.

Learn About The Controllers:
- CAT 1000 pH Control System
- ElectroChlor Salt Chlorine Generator

Swimming Pool Salt Systems Have Several Advantages:

  • Cost Effective. - By generating chlorine automatically, you never need to buy chlorine tablets for your pool again. This can save hundreds of dollars a year in pool operating costs.
  • Ease of Maintenance. - Keeping pool water balanced is a snap with automatic chlorine generation. Enjoy crystal clear water all summer long without ever adding a single chlorine tablet!
  • Constant Chlorine Level in the Water. - Unlike other methods of pool chlorination, salt chlorinators maintain a fairly constant chlorine level in pool water, so there are never dangerously high or low levels of chlorine.

Summer Start Up Maintenance Tips

Summer swimming season is fast approaching, and for those with a pool in the backyard, it's time to get it into shape. Many pool owners don't pay much attention to their pool equipment until it breaks. If this happens in the middle of the summer it can be disastrous. Taking a little time to inspect your pool equipment now, before the temperatures hit the unforgiving highs can save you a lot of hassle. As a pool professional I will share with you a few of the things that we in the industry look for going into the summer.

  • Check for Leaks

    The most common of all pool equipment problems, leaks can vary greatly in size and severity. Finding and fixing a small leak in the spring time can prevent finding a large leak in the summer. Inspect for leaks by looking closely at your pool pump, filter, heater, and all the pipes that connect them. You should inspect while the pump is running, and again when it is off. If you see water underneath your pool equipment it is a good clue that there may be a leak. Feel the undersides of pipes to see if you can find the exact spot that is leaking. If you have a backwash pipe for your filter, you should make sure that no water comes out of it when the pump is running in regular filter mode. If water does leak out of the backwash you may need to fix or replace your backwash valve.

    The most notorious of all pool leaks is the pump seal leak. This is when water runs down the shaft of the pump motor. If this particular leak is not detected early it can destroy the motor, and be very expensive to fix. If you catch the leak before it destroys your motor it is cheap and easy to replace the seal in the pump. I would recommend checking for signs of a leaky pump seal several times throughout the spring and summer. Look closely (get on your hands and knees) underneath the pump for pools of water. Check when the pump is running for any drips or fine spray coming from the area between the pump and motor. You can use your hand to feel for moisture, but be very careful not to touch the motor while it is running as it can be very hot. If you find a leak in the pump you will want to repair it immediately. Here is our online guide for rebuilding a pool pump.

  • Inspect Your Filter

    Your pool filter is responsible for removing dirt and other contaminants from your pool. By taking a little time to make sure that it is in proper worknig order, you ensure that your pool water will sparkle all summer long. The first thing to look at on your filter is the pressure gauge. While your pump is running there will be a psi reading on the gauge on the top of the filter tank. All filters run at different pressures, but any reading above about 30 psi should be investigated. There are three main types of pool filters, and each has unique needs, so I will address them individually:

    Cartridge Filters - Pool filters that have large paper cartridges inside are known as cartridge filters. These paper cartridges catch all the dirt and other contaminants that pass through the filter. It is important to clean these cartridges regularly throughout the year, but in the spring you may want to do a little more. Inspect the cartridge itself for signs of wear. Signs that a filter cartridge is worn out and needs to be replaced include: rips or tears, frayed material, broken bands that run around the filter to hold it together, heavily stained material that doesn't come clean. Another sign that a filter needs to be replaced is if it slumps down under its own weight. If your filter has any of these problems it may be time to replace it. If you need a new filter cartridge but you aren't sure what model filter you have click here to use our Filter Cartridge Finder.

    Sand Filters - Sand filters have a bed of sand that pool water passes through to remove dirt and debris. Backwashing a sand filter removes most of the dirt from the filter but over time there is a gradual buildup of particles that are not removed through backwashing. Every 3-5 years the sand in a pool filter needs to be removed and replaced. Before the swimming season starts it is a good idea to open the filter and look at the sand inside. If the surface of the sand is hard and dense like plaster, it is probably time to change the sand. Also, if there is a thick oily residue on the top of the sand it is likely worn out. If the sand looks and feels more or less like wet sand from the beach it probably doesn't need to be changed out. I should note that there are other materials that are sometimes used in place of sand inside a filter, and they will not follow these guidelines for inspection. If you have something besides regular silica sand in your filter you should talk to the pool company that installed the filter about inspection and maintenance.

    Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) Filters - When a D.E. filter is backwashed all of the D.E. powder is flushed out along with the dirt that is caught in the filter. After each backwash you must add the powder back into the filter in order to "recharge" the filter. In addition to this regular backwashing and recharging it is a good idea to do an annual inspection of the the D.E. filter internals. In the pool industry this is referred to as a "D.E. tear-down". Basically it means taking apart the filter and carefully cleaning all of the grids that hold the D.E. powder during normal use. It is also the time to check the internal parts of the filter for holes or other signs of wear. For a complete guide on tearing down a D.E. filter click here.

    • Thoroughly Check Your Water Chemistry

      Spring is the time to do a full water chemistry analysis. If you have a test kit that will check all the parameters of pool chemistry, you can do this testing yourself. If you don't have a kit that will check for cyanuric acid, alkalinity, and calcium hardness; you will need to take a sample of your pool water to a pool store and let them check it for you. There are two things to pay close attention to when you do your spring chemistry check, Cyanuric Acid (conditioner) and Calcium Hardness. If either of these levels are too high they will cause serious problems during the summer. Click here for our compete guide on pool water chemistry.