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How Source Water Affects Pool and Spa Maintenance

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How Source Water Affects Pool and Spa Maintenance

Source water is a vital aspect for pool owners in filling and refilling a pool. Source water for a pool and spa should maintain high standards to ensure safety for all users. Water in pools and spas can be obtained from various sources; however, the two primary ones are municipal water and well water. Source water comprises several microorganisms and pollutants, thus influencing the quantity and type of chemical for disinfection and sanitizing. Therefore, pool owners need to choose the best source water and appropriate treatment process required to guarantee high water standards. In this current article, we seek to address various water contaminants and their impact on pool and spa water.

How Source Water Affects Pool and Spa Maintenance

Nitrates

In the United States, the EPA established directives to control the number of nitrates in drinking water; nitrate must not exceed 10ppm per liter in drinking water. Nitrate and nitrates are the primary contaminants of groundwater, especially in rural areas where there are frequent farming activities. Fertilizers, septic systems, and manure storage are the primary reasons for the existence of nitrates in groundwater. In pools and spas, high concentrations of nitrates lead to algae problems, which increase chlorine’s demand.

Well water

In the United States, over 12 million families get drinking water from private wells. Although there are no set criteria for controlling private wells, the EPA provides information on the benefits of purifying water in private wells. Well water is often used in isolated areas where municipal water is inaccessible. The quality of well water is profoundly affected by its geographical location. However, it mainly contains contaminants such as iron, tannins, and iron bacteria, which cause pool discoloration and increased demand for sanitizers.

TDS because of high mineral levels

The total of all dissolved solid matter (TDS) refers to all impurities, microbes, and pollutants found in water. TDS levels vary depending on the geographical area; some areas have source water containing a high concentration of calcium and magnesium. Experts discourage the consumption of water with more than 1000ppm of hardness concentration. In such a case, looking for sources of water that are less contaminated is advisable.

Metals

Source water acquires contamination agents either from its source or place of treatment. A good example is calcium, which is intentionally put in water to improve hardness. At times, water comes in contact with metals from corrosion of metal pipes. Certain bacteria known as iron bacteria are found in well water and lead to discoloration of water and pool surfaces. The existence of metals in pools and spas also consumes vast portions of sanitizers and disinfectants. Some sanitizers combine with heavy metal like iron and copper to create increased demand for sanitizers. Dealing with heavy metal in pools involves frequently using metal-removing products.

Phosphates

The EPA recommends protecting pipes against corrosion using phosphates. Consequently, this substance is common in municipal water. Even though phosphate prevents corrosion, it indirectly leads to increased demand for chlorine; phosphates serve as nutrients for algae; algae, in turn, significantly reproduce, causing excessive use of chlorine. Luckily, phosphate can be destroyed using phosphate removers containing lanthanum salt. Unlike Biguanide-based sanitizers that react negatively with phosphates, Lanthanum salt condenses phosphate, which is later filtered out.

Municipal water

One source of pool and spa water is municipal water, which is purified in treatment plants and considered safe for human consumption. When water from rivers and lakes is decontaminated and refined, it is channeled through a pipe to reach its consumers. Old pipes used for water transportation possibly lead to water contamination due to the existence of impurities such as copper, hence affecting the water’s standard. Nonetheless, municipal water barely contains high percentages of contaminants due to specific requirements and guidelines imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Even so, municipal water faces a high risk of pollution caused by heavy metals, nitrates, and phosphates found in pools.

Chloramines

Municipal water is usually chloraminated by facilitating the reaction of chlorine and ammonia in water, which results in a substance called chloramine, which is combined chlorine. During the reaction process, monochloramine is produced; monochloramine and chlorine are used in water treatment facilities for large-scale and small-scale use. Chloramines, however, can be eliminated through a process known as super chlorination.

Safety measures

As seen in this current article, the standard of pool and spa water is significantly affected by source water, which often serves as a habitat for minerals and heavy metal. Consequently, it is crucial to perform frequent tests on source water and decide on the proper treatment plan to avoid adverse effects caused by pollutants.

Summary of Characteristics

  • Well water and municipal water are the primary sources of water.
  • Aside from heavy metals, source water comprises various minerals like phosphates and calcium.
  • At times, water treatment plants purposefully add minerals in the water.
  • Most water treatment plants use chloramination to ensure complete disinfection.
  • Both inorganic and organic substances like nitrates may be present in the source water.

Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email mpacker@poolmagazine.com your story idea.

Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

Pool Metals and Metal Staining

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Pool Metals and Metal Staining

Metals are naturally existing elements found in every place; in water, soil and stones. Metals in soil and stones dissolve in acidic rainwater, which is then carried to surface water and groundwater. Through this, the dissolved metals find their way to pools and tubs when filled. Exposure of metals to water cause staining on pool surfaces and equipment. This article discusses the techniques to control the presence of pool metals. It also discusses the different kinds of metal staining and the relevant chemicals to eliminate and hinder stains.

Pool Metals and Metal Staining

Metals in pools and hot tub water

There are 91 existing metals, but only 6 are problematic to hot tubs and pools. The 6 metals include magnesium, copper, cobalt, iron, manganese and calcium. Here we will only discuss 4 that are cobalt, copper, magnesium and iron.

Fill water, inclusive of almost all municipal and well water supplies that fill hot tubs and pools, contains a few metals. It is advisable to test for metal concentration in source water before filling the hot tubs and pools.

Tests for iron and copper are easily accessible, though the majority only measures the free form of the dissolved metals. They also do not test the sequestered and complexed forms of dissolved metals. A two-phase metal test containing adequate reducing and releasing agents give better results on free, complexed and some oxidized metals.

Sources of metal contamination in the pool and hot tub water are plaster and pebble surfaces, water features, decking materials, metal equipment, galvanic corrosion, chemicals and runoff.

In addition, flagstone, marble and stone contain iron that leaches into the pool after every rainfall. Imbalanced water may cause the introduction of copper from heat exchangers found in gas-fired water heaters. Moreover, copper-based algaecides and mineral-based water treatment may be a source of pool metals. Plant fertilizers can also introduce metals when incorrectly applied or due to uncontrolled flooding. More sources of metal include irrigation methods with well water.

Preventing stains

Water Treatment

Avoid using untreated water with high metal concentration (higher than 1ppm) in hot tubs or pool. Treat the water when the metal concentration is higher than 0.2 ppm. Sediment filters (10 microns or less) eliminate the majority of the bigger oxidized particles. Use filters that have metal adsorbents to treat water, to minimize dissolved metals concentration.

Primary Sanitizers and Stabilizers

Maintain proper concentration of primary sanitizers and other similar stabilizers to prevent organic contaminants. These include; pathogens, non-hazardous bacteria and algae minimizing the need for a copper-based algaecide.

Bonding of Metals and Water

The majority of the pool and hot tub equipment are metal-made. For example, electrolytic halogen generators, the heating core of electric heat pump, gas-fired pool and hot tub heaters, ladders, light rings and handrails.

To enhance chemical and electrical safety, install a bonding system in the hot tub or pool. The bonding system involves joining the copper wire with all the metal elements and water combined. This minimizes electric potential difference. Lack of this system, enables dissolution of pool metals, causing staining that damages the equipment. This is the process known as galvanic corrosion and can heighten due to several factors such as salt water, stray direct current as well as its power supplies. Anodes (zinc metal) reduce the damage on the equipment but don’t deal with the cause of corrosion. Test the bonding system every year, or any other time there is corrosion.

Pool & Hot Tub pH

pH is the most vital yet most ignored factor in preventing metal release in water. Low pH water (below 7) is acidic and corrosive. Acidic water dissolves metals from the pool equipment.

Improper water chemistry harms pool surfaces and machinery. Always ensure to maintain an accurate pH, alkalinity (carbonate) and calcium (hardness). If inadequate, water draws carbonate and calcium from cementitious surfaces, discharging metals into the water.

Sequestering Agents

Sequestering agents join with the dissolved pool metals to reduce oxidation hence reduces staining. They chelate the metals, not eliminate them. They require a complex modern ultra filtration system to remove sequestered metal particles as the particles are too small for the pool filtration system. Add this agent on a regular basis, as a secondary disinfection and primary sanitizer systems keep on destroying them.

Ways to reduce metal concentration in hot tubs and pool water

  • Bind the metals using polymer and water-insoluble natural adsorbents
  • Filter the water through a reverse osmosis system
  • Remove and replace a part of the water with fresh metal-free water

Removing stains from the pool and hot tub surfaces

1. Metal stain removal from the surface

2. Chelation of the dissolved metals in the water with a sequestering agent

3. Elimination of the metals from the water.

To get rid of pool metals and metal stains, add oxalic acid, ascorbic acid and citric acid or a similar product into the pool water. An experienced pool service expert should only execute the use of Muriatic acid in the removal of metal stains as it can lead to permanent damage to the pool surface. Chelation of dissolved metals and minimizing concentrations of dissolved metal have been earlier tackled.

Figuring out the difference between metal stains and those by organic contamination can be difficult. For evaluation, establish the origin of the stain, asses the water chemistry and test the stain with either citric acid or ascorbic acid.

Note: Some organic stains, similar to those brought about by iron bacteria, vanish after treatment with ascorbic acid but return with the introduction of chlorine residuals.

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Selling Automatic Pool Cleaners Online

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Selling Automatic Pool Cleaners Online

Amidst the pandemic this summer, Rene Huston, president of Patio Pleasures acknowledges an increase in their sales, of up to 10 pools in a day, if available. The unanticipated pandemic that led to the cancellation of travel plans had people invest that money for their backyard luxury. This is no wonder; there is an increase in the sales of automatic pool cleaners, especially high-quality robotic models. Clients also opt to invest cash they would have used elsewhere to enjoy the benefits of the long-term, cost-efficient APC’s.

Since their introduction in the 1950s, automatic pool cleaners have become part of pools in North America due to their personality and efficiency. They move around the pool on their own, cleaning the pools, hence minimizing the need for manual vacuuming and sweeping.

Jeannie Pearcy, owner of SwimFun Pool & Patio in Olathe, Kansas, United States, tells her clients a pool cleaner is similar to a Roomba for your pool.

Recently, online competition affected APC sales at brick and mortar vendors. Reacting to retailer’s complaints, APC producers began making ‘trade-only’ products. These products are only physically accessible through pool and spa shops. These products come with extra features like additional supplies longer warranties or refundable offers. Furthermore, you can access and depend on service from the vendor and manufacturer. Discussing with pool and spa vendors, there are varying opinions on the sell of automatic pool cleaners.

Store manager for Outback Pools & Spas in Wichita Falls, TX., Jimmy Cooper, appreciates manufacturers for looking out for their welfare too. Clients get to experience what a brick and mortar can do. Customers can purchase these pool products online though you can have horrible encounters with them. This gives the stores a chance to enlighten clients on what they can do.

Online vs Retail stores

It may seem like the ideal service to request for a robotic automatic pool cleaner from your home and have it brought within two days. However, their satisfaction can be short-lived either with the delivery of the wrong product or early failure of the product.

Most clients come to Huston’s store, complaining of an ineffective online product. They use this opportunity to explain the advantages if they had bought it from them. Such discussions and encounters build the confidence of customers in brick and mortar vendors.

Moreover, when online clients take their automatic pool cleaners to Cooper’s store for maintenance or service, he cannot do anything about it because the product is not from his store. He instead offers to sell them a similar product from his store. To ease their frustrations, he explains the benefits of buying from stores.

With this approach, Cooper believes he has changed the opinion of half of the online buyers to in store clients.

For years, Huston has avoided servicing online bought goods. However, now her opinion has begun to change. At times, it depends on how busy they are at a particular time though she’s still unsettled. She’s a bit receptive, taking into consideration the profits they could earn.

Maintenance Intervals

One of the significant selling points of an automatic pool cleaner is its ability to somehow get rid of the pool guy, as Cooper states.

Cooper calculates with his clients an hour service each week for a year in comparison to purchasing a cleaner. They realise a $1000 or $1500 cleaners operating two or three hours in a day for a year is cheaper than they thought.

The service crew is not always there, and the pool requires cleaning between their visits. Even with an automatic pool cleaner, manual work like scrubbing the pool walls requires the service crew. Depending on the water environment, manual vacuuming may also be necessary.

Selling Game Plan

Since APCs are more virtually intriguing compared to other pool equipment, retailers depend on popular displays in the store to start a discussion with a client.

After capturing the customer’s attention, Huston urges would-be buyers to go with a unit home and try it out. This program at Patio pleasures permits clients day access to the unit. When returned, they do a far check to ensure the unit is clean, the baskets and other pieces still in place.

The program, try before you buy, has also worked for Pearcy. Even if the Client does not purchase the unit, then, they include it in their purchase wish list and save up for it. Furthermore, SwimFun sells the season’s trial unit at a cheaper price with a limited warranty.

Cooper recognizes that persuading clients on the advantages of an automatic cleaner has become simpler. This is due to the increase of dependence and convenience of technology though some purchasers are still ignorant.

With a number of sales strategies in place, verbal means is the most powerful convincing method in the sell of automatic pool cleaners. This is the reason the product will remain a powerful sale in the retail sector.

Conclusion

Huston notes that pool owners are seeking ways to maintain their pools happy and healthy. Time is of the essence; get an automatic pool cleaner as it is the ideal choice for your pool.

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End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

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End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

The end of every pool season is a vital opportunity to finalize the summer’s last good swims and ensure that the following season is better. Accurate pool winterizing techniques rely on geographical location. However, closing products safeguard pools from the off-season impacts and eases the opening period. This saves on time and cash. Worry less with the products offered below that safeguard your pool during the winter season.

End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

Ramuc Pool Paint

Ramuc’s Clean & Prep solution is ideal for cleaning pool surfaces before closure. This helps to guarantee clean pool walls and set for the opening during spring. It eliminates debris, oil and other pollutants that form on the pool surface during the season. This product is effective in cleaning, removing grease stains and dissolving mineral deposits. It works on concrete, painted surfaces, fiberglass, gunite and bare plaster. It is a volatile organic compound with no smell nor fume and is biodegradable.

End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

Automatic Pool Covers

Automatic Pool Covers offers the ultimate APC 365. This is a high-quality automatic safety cover system unique for vinyl-lined pools. The system uses a coping and housing structure that permits an automatic cover joined to the pool. It’s designed for easy installation with a 48-by-48-inch enclosed coping and wall cap corner to guarantee a 100% correct fit. APC 365 System utilizes a slide-on polybox shelter to saves on installation time and maintains the housing’s lid with the flush deck.

End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

McEwen Industries

McEwen Super Solid is the toughest and puncture-repellant hard cover material, the company affirms. This strong fabric is lighter in weight compared to a traditional solid cover. This makes its installation and removal simpler as well as saves on time. It is accessible in a variety of colors.

End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

Natural Chemistry

Natural Chemistry’s Hassle Free Kit consists of 2 items that set pools up for easy openings. Pool Magic, together with Phosfree, contains natural enzymes to disintegrate remaining nonliving waste from the pool season. This is to minimize off-season scum lines. The modern upgraded kit box consists of Metal Free compounds to avoid metal staining and scales throughout winter, without including harmful phosphates.

End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

ProTeam

ProTeam Winter combination offers an easy, single-step product to aid shield pool surfaces from staining and scaling over the winter. This revolutionary formula consists of ProTeam Sub-Zero Crystals that offer extra safety against popular pool winterizing challenges. Further, it offers added pool water softeners to help with easier pool openings. It can also treat up to 15,000 gallons with one application.

End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

Aladdin

Accessible in 5 varying designs, this SkimSaver Lid’L Seal will fit most common broad and regular openings inground and aboveground skimmers. The product permits drainage of the skimmer, not the pool, preventing corrosion of the metallic pool walls throughout the year. Additionally, recessive lid helps to it getting removed by shifting ice. This leads to expensive freeze destruction to your skimmer.

End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

Anchor Industries

The Anchor’s Defender mesh and Standard mesh covers have webbing that’s sewn on every cover base. This feature offers support strength and a flat, smooth surface to avoid debris build up during winter. Mesh pool covers are self-draining. They drain water from the cover throughout winter. The Defender Mesh pool cover minimizes the loss of chemicals from pool water. Furthermore, it prevents entry of debris into the water and shields children or animals from falling in.

End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

Merlin Industries

Pool owners can get the best blend of tear strength, sunlight shade, and abrasion resistance thanks to Merlin’s standard mesh, Dura-Mesh II. Moreover, it offer a unique patented SmartMesh pool safety cover. This is the only fabric to give 100% sunlight shade and give 40-micron debris filtration.

End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

LOOP-LOC

Deck-Loc, a LOOP-LOC product, is a no-drill support system for composite decks. As the company states, owners can install pool covers on composite decks without boring any hole. It offers protection by turning the locks until they clinch beneath the deck boards. Using Deck-Loc renders the pool undamaged. Its material, 316 marine-grade stainless steel, is resistant to corrosion.

End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

SimPoolTec

Pool experts are aware that when pool winterizing, draining less water from the pool will minimize damage to the liners, winter covers and fiberglass pools. Skimmer Plugs offer all these advantages with a fast, dependable and cost-efficient technique of pool winterizing above and inground skimmers. Furthermore, it forms a watertight seal when dipped into the skimmer’s current faceplate. This ensures there is no wastage of water, tools and time. They are accessible to fit every skimmer with sales materials and displays helping you sell more plugs.

End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

Jack’s Magic Products

Jack’s Magic Super Pacs are a dry, unrefined multi-enzyme that prevents the accumulation of oils, grease, suntan lotions and other organic pollutants that cause scum lines in pools and spas. They work very well in high chlorine amounts, up to 50ppm. The phosphate-free product enhances filter efficiency, minimizes the use of chemicals and aids to prevent dull, unclear water. An ounce of the products treats 20,000 gallons of pool water in fourteen days. For application, place the water-soluble pouch in the skimmer basket.

End of Pool Season: Pool Winterizing Products

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