Swimming pools are indisputably excellent sources of fun and relaxation. However, maintaining these spectacular features is not as simple as most people think. Even worse, very few pool owners understand the term ‘water chemistry.’ Consequently, they cannot take good care of their pools. Fortunately, there are numerous articles on the internet that talk about pool and spa water chemistry. But it can be tiresome to read all of them. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about pool chemicals.
Today, there are many types of pool sanitizers. The most common pool sanitizer is chlorine. This chemical comes in the form of liquid, tablets, or powder. Chlorine often breaks down into hypochlorous acid, which does all the disinfection. Hypochlorous acid kills all pathogens and microorganisms to provide a safe swimming environment.
Stabilized vs. unstabilized chlorine; is there a difference?
Pool experts always advise using chlorine in its stabilized form. Stabilized chlorine is safe from UV rays. Generally, UV rays degrade the quality of chlorine; and this lowers its effectiveness. So, using unstabilized chlorine in your pool puts swimmers at risk of contracting infections. Examples of stabilized chlorine include trichlor and dichlor. In most instances, you need to add a stabilizer directly to the pool to prevent chlorine from degrading.
Liquid chlorine, also known as sodium hypochlorite, is less costly and simple to use. However, it causes unbalanced water chemistry. You would have to use a pH decreaser like muriatic acid to lower the pH. Also, hypochlorite is not a natural stabilizer; thus, you have to add a stabilizer directly to the pool.
How to boost the effectiveness of pool chlorine
Aside from using stabilizers, there are other ways you can boost the functionality of chlorine. Using preventive algaecides can help you to maximize the effectiveness of liquid chlorine. So, if you are using liquid chlorine, ensure you add a proper algaecide at least once a week. Doing this prevents chlorine from getting used up by algae. However, you need to use the right algaecide products.
Moreover, adding enzyme products at least once a week boosts the effectiveness of chlorine. Enzyme products break down dirt and grease particles. As a result, they prevent chlorine from getting used up in spas and pools. Orthophosphate removal can also prevent chlorine from getting used up and boost water quality.
Concentrate more on physical maintenance
Most people owners use pool chemicals to keep their pools in good condition. Although this is not a bad thing, pool service technicians should focus more on physical maintenance. Ensuring that all pool equipment runs smoothly is a great way to maintain crystal-clear pool water.
At times, pool sanitizers and disinfectants cannot reach certain microorganisms. In such instances, pool pumps and filters will help you keep your pool in perfect shape. So, ensure your pool pump and filters run for approximately 8 to 12 hours a day. Also, use pool vacuums and cleaners to get rid of dirt in the pool.
How to remove ugly water lines in swimming pools
The formation of waterlines along the sides of the pool can be disturbing. Remember, sunscreen, among other oily particles, make their way into the pool. These particles float on the surface and start building up on the pool walls. Consequently, your pool develops ugly water lines. Often, this leads to increased use of chlorine. Getting rid of water lines requires you to brush them off using the right pool equipment. Dirt can also build up on pool corners, steps, ladders, and light niches. So, be on the lookout for these areas.
Safety practices to observe when handling liquid chlorine
Chlorine can cause skin and eye irritation. So, pool service technicians should transport them using the right service trucks. Always use a secondary container to prevent any leakages. Also, never place chlorine in the passenger compartment; you never know what may happen. Moreover, avoid placing sodium hypochlorite near acid solutions or ammonia. Chlorine reacts with acid compounds to produce harmful gases that could be detrimental to your respiratory health.
Usually, each state outlines various guidelines regarding chlorine transportation. So, every driver should follow these guidelines. Some of them include:
- Ensure you have an SDS for all chemicals.
- All chemicals should be in separate containers during transportation. Liquid chemicals, for example, should be stored separately from slid chemicals. Chemicals like muriatic acid should not be close to salt.
- Avoid transporting hydrocarbons like diesel and gasoline. In the case of a road accident, they could end up causing a destructive fire.
- Wipe off any chemical spills immediately. Remember, spilt chemicals can interfere with the components of other chemicals. Additionally, avoid pouring chemicals into public drains or sewers.
- Avoid leaving chemicals for extended periods in the transportation truck.
Liquid chlorine is a great pool sanitizer. It is affordable and can destroy almost all microorganisms in the pool. However, liquid chlorine is not stabilized. Thus, UV rays can degrade liquid chlorine. You can prevent this by adding appropriate stabilizers to the pool water. Additionally, you can boost the effectiveness of liquid chlorine by using preventive algaecides and removing orthophosphate from pool water. Ultimately, it would be best if you handled liquid pool chemicals with care.
Rise of the Virtual Pool Inspection
In the wake of Covid-19, an entirely new cottage industry has popped up. Virtual pool inspections are becoming increasingly popular in the state of Florida, where new legislature recently enacted now means pool inspections can be done remotely.
Traditionally pool inspections are performed by certified pool inspectors or home inspectors that are able to submit an official report about the overall condition of the home owners pool and equipment. Pool inspections are vital as they are used to determine if pools comply with local building and safety regulations. These inspection reports also help home buyers and homeowners identify any potential safety hazards or repairs that need to be made.
A white-hot market for the construction of swimming pools has seen the demand for these services dramatically increase. The process of getting an inspection done traditionally involved scheduling a date and time for the inspector to come out to visit the job site.
Changes in Legislation Open The Industry To Virtual Pool Inspections
Changes to Florida legislation were recently made to streamline that process. With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, a bottleneck began to occur for many builders. An incredible backlog of requests for inspections and a drastically reduced number of inspectors who were available to perform them helped ease the pathway for legislation to allow virtual pool inspections.
Why the need for Virtual Inspections?
Recent changes to Section 553.79, allowed a “state or local enforcement agency” to “perform virtual inspections”. Starting on July 1, 2021, SB 1382 now requires building authorities to allow virtual inspections to be performed remotely and submitted electronically.
As the Sunshine state adjusts to the new rules and regulations regarding inspections, one firm recently has emerged as a leading service provider. We sat down with Inspected.com President – Anthony Perera to find out more about their offering and how they are looking to partner with the pool industry.
Utilizing New Technology in the Field
As we now enter our second year of the pandemic, people have adjusted to doing business virtually. Remote office workers became all too familiar with products like Zoom as they began to rely on these services to conduct business using video conferencing technology. The Inspected platform is based on a similar concept but is tied directly to the inspection process.
“We developed a patent-pending technology that geolocates the conference call to a specific job site,” said Perera, “we realized that with the passing of all these laws and with these new house bills that municipalities were allowing third-party providers to perform single-trade inspections around the country. That’s kind of how and why Inspected was born.”
Perera who was an HVAC contractor by trade has rolled out an impressive platform allowing virtual inspections to occur remotely. “We essentially replace the city inspector on job sites,” said Perera, “Gone are the days when you would get to a certain stage in that pool inspection, and would have to stop the project and call up the city inspector to do that inspection; we’re able to do that in real-time now.”
Streamlining the Inspection Process for Pool Builders
The technology will greatly streamline the process for builders as well says Perera, “The efficiencies we create are when that crew is at that phase in the project, they can join one of our licensed inspectors virtually at that specific time and we’ll be there for them to do an inspection on their behalf.”
What’s Different About Virtual Pool Inspections?
One of the biggest differences between a regular pool inspection and a virtual pool inspection is obviously that the inspector is not physically on-site. “The contractor becomes the avatar for our inspector,” said Perera, “We have our checklist based on the municipality, of the items we have to inspect. We run through the checklists, take the photos, and perform the proper documentation to ensure all of the code standards have been met.”
During a virtual pool inspection, the process is very similar to what would normally be conducted in an on-site inspection says Perera. “Our inspectors are driving the contractor around the job site and telling them, show me this, show me that and at the same time documenting all of these processes.”
Benefits of Virtual Pool Inspections
Perera feels this is a more thorough documentation process than what would typically occur in an on-site inspection. A physical inspection occurring visually relies on the inspector to write a report based on their inspection. Conversely, during a virtual pool inspection, all of the video, photos, and the entire session of the inspection are actively stored in the cloud. One of the more unique aspects of Inspected.com’s proprietary video conferencing platform is its ability to geolocate each inspection session. What this effectively does is correlate all of the data collected in the virtual inspection to a physical address.
Why Builders May Consider Moving Towards a Virtual Inspection Platform
One of the biggest benefits of moving towards a virtual inspection platform is accessibility in terms of setting an appointment on a more flexible schedule than builders are accustomed to. Perera says the average amount of time to perform a virtual inspection on their platform is approximately 10 minutes which is substantially shorter than an in-person inspection. Another key benefit is that the reporting is still coming from trusted and vetted inspectors, says Perera, who mentioned that all of Inspected.com’s inspectors are either ICC certified or state-certified.
Ultimately, Perera says virtual inspections create a more seamless process for builders and expects mass adoption soon. While not available everywhere, virtual inspections are slowly being introduced to different cities, states, and municipalities. Here is some information about what some jurisdictions are doing to adapt virtual inspections.
- Alexandria, Virginia
- Arlington County, Virginia
- City of Austin, Texas
- City of Fort Collins, Colorado
- North Carolina Code Officials Qualification Board
- North Carolina Department of Insurance
- North Las Vegas
- Los Angeles County Video Inspection Process and Inspection Guide for PV Systems For One- and Two-Family Dwellings
- City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety’s “COVID-19 Safety Guidance for Construction Sites”
- City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety Virtual Inspection Program
Listen to our whole conversation with Anthony Perera and find out how Inspected.com is looking to partner with the pool industry as their virtual inspection platform of choice.
Claffey Pools Acquired by Riverbend Sandler Pools
The pool industry has seen a spate of recent acquisition announcements. The latest, being the recent acquisition of Claffey pools by Riverbend Sandler Pools. Backed by Chicago-based Concentric Equity Partners, they are continuing efforts to consolidate the swimming pool construction and maintenance industry in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
The acquisition agreement was signed on December 31, 2021 but only made public on Thursday. Full details about the exact terms of the deal were not disclosed.
This marks the third major pool builder purchased by the holding company, after acquiring Pulliam Pools back in November. The acquisition of the Fort Worth-based firm made it one of the nation’s largest pool construction companies.
This recent acquisition of Claffey Pools which is ranked within the nations top pool construction companies with about $32 million in reported residential construction revenue in 2020. A builder of high-end inground swimming pools, Claffey’s average pool project costs around $142,000.
Riverbend Sandler intends to make considerable advancements by acquiring existing service and maintenance companies, in addition to focusing on construction. Consequently, they hope to become a key service provider in the state’s pool service and maintenance sector.
This in itself appears to be a key decision point for the Claffeys who are looking to expand their pool service and maintenance divisions. Last year’s Texas Pool freeze caused unprecedented amounts of damage across the Lone Star state and saw Claffey perform over 1,000 repairs as a result.
In regards to any restructuring of the organization, the Claffeys, along with their 95 employees, will remain with the company. Riverbend Sandler has announced its intentions to continue its expansion. It will continue to concentrate on Texas, for the time being, looking seriously to expand into the Austin, Houston, and San Antonio markets after having established the predominant marketshare in the Dallas area.
GENESIS Announces Newest Platinum Sponsor: Pool Magazine
(Alexandria, Va.) – GENESIS is pleased to announce its newest Platinum Sponsor, Pool Magazine. The GENESIS sponsorship program showcases companies that are dedicated to the highest standards of best practices, quality, and ethics in the pool and spa industry.
“We look forward to collaborating with PHTA and expanding our relationship as a Platinum Sponsor,” says Joe Trusty, CEO & Editor-in-Chief. “We are excited for this next chapter and look forward to making a positive impact on the industry.”
As a Platinum Sponsor, Pool Magazine will have the opportunity to maximize its brand visibility, connect with thousands of engaged industry professionals, and unlock valuable opportunities.
“We are delighted to add Pool Magazine to our distinguished list of Platinum Sponsors,” says Janay Rickwalder, Vice President of Communications and Public Relations of PHTA. “Pool Magazine has everything we look for in a partner: quality services that can benefit our members, an understanding of the importance of continuing education, and a finger on the pulse of industry trends. I am excited for this collaboration and to working together in 2022.”
For more information, please contact Janay Rickwalder, PHTA’s Vice President of Communications and Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.357.3918.
About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with nearly 3,500 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit www.phta.org.
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