April showers bring May flowers and June heat is around the corner! The time is ripe for pool yard spring cleaning and summer pool start up. Our Pool Heaven Pool Service customers don't have to worry about their pool or spa as their pool water chemistry and pool equipment are well maintained, but we always get calls from new customers with pool water and pool equipment issues. Our pool service managers know to check a few things instantly with these neglected pools.
- Is there enough pool conditioner?
- Is there enough chlorine?
- Is the pool system maintained and is the pool filter clean and working well?
- Is the pool water chemistry balanced with ideal chlorine, pH, Carbonate Alkalinity, and Conditioner?
- Are there excessive phosphates in the water?
Pool Conditioner Is A Major Step In Pool Start Up
The most common issue we come across is low pool conditioner. Pool conditioner holds the chlorine in the water for longer periods as the sun, debris, and swimmers in the water strip the concentration of chlorine in the water. Look at pool conditioner as the glue to hold chlorine in your pool and spa.
You can have too much pool conditioner in your pool as well which leads to draining or switching to liquid chlorine as chlorine tabs will add excessive concentrations of pool condioner to your pool. You should read our article "Pool Conditioner is Important" to learn more specifics about pool conditioner and how much is enough or too much, but for this article just know it's the first thing to check if there is not enough chlorine in the water.
Now, with a new pool customer, we are also on alert for wonky pool chemical products that bind up and strip away the ability of conditioner to hold chlorine in the water. If we have high or perfect levels of pool conditioner in the water, but have to add abnormally high amounts of chlorine to the water, we immediately assume someone has been adding too much of a wonky product. Problem is that this situation can only be fixed with pool water recycling or new pool water and we warn our new pool service customers about this and we test and analyze those first couple weeks of service. Understand that we hate draining pools, but if the pool water is bad, the only real solutions are pool water recycling or new, fresh pool water.
High Ideal Chlorine Every Visit Is A Must
Another common issue with neglected swimming pools is that they are not getting enough chlorine. We add enough chlorine to measure high ideal levels the week after we service the pool or spa. We are aiming for high ideal, because it is always better to be a little high compared to low or zero. Even though some people are sensitive and may get dry skin from higher levels of chlorine, it is always better than an infection from not enough chlorine!
Perfectly Balanced Pool Water Chemistry
We aim to add enough chlorine to measure high ideal levels on our next pool service visit. We then have to balance our pH and alkalinity. You can read our article "Perfect Water Chemistry" for more detailed information about perfect water chemistry, but just know this is another crucial step for summer pool start up.
Another common situation with new pool service customers is the snowball effect. Not enough conditioner leads to very low or zero levels of chlorine. This leads to cloudy pool water and growth of microorganisms and pool algae in the pool water. These microparticulates infest and grow and start blocking up the pool filter which leads to high pool filter pressure and poor water filtration. Imagine contaminated water, low pool water filtration, and the beginning stages of your new backyard pond! YUCK! This happens quite a bit as the snowball effect can quickly escalate especially with hot weather.
Sound, Working Pool Equipment Essential With Pool Start Up
So, with every summer pool start up, it is wise to perform a pool filter clean and inspection and fix all the pool equipment. Bad pool water puts a lot of pressure on the pool filter grids and manifold inside of a pool filter, so we need to check for cracks, tearing, holes, etc. in all the parts inside of the pool filter. Read our article "Pool Filter Issues" for more information. Once we have a clean and sound pool filter, it's time to check all the other pool equipment for leaks and other issues.
Remember that only Ca. State Licensed Pool Repair Contractors can legally replace pool equipment and do pool repairs over $500 in value. The state declares value as the actual value of all equipment and parts you are adding plus the cost of labor and other materials. For instance, some shady, unlicensed pool guys will try to get the homeowner to buy the pool equipment thinking they can legally charge under $500 to install that equipment leaving their bill to the customer under the $500 amount. This is ILLEGAL and every homeowner needs to beware of what else this business may be doing that is shady and ILLEGAL? The law states that only a Ca. State Licensed Contractor in that specific job capacity can perform repairs/installs over $500 in value no matter who purchases the equipment/materials/parts/etc.
Something else to be aware of is excessive phosphates. Phosphates enter your pool or spa from bathers, leaves and debris, and even other pool chemicals. Phosphates are nutrients that algae will eat which cause a pool algae problem to bloom. Swimming pools that get dirty from tree leaves and other outdoor landscape debris will spike in phosphates. These pools will need phosphate remover from time to time. Removing phosphates will rid the pool of food that the pool algae problem needs to survive.
Following these 5 steps ensures our pools are sparkling blue and clear, but we have seen exceptions where some pools will still grow pool algae. We use a professional grade pool algae preventative that only pool professionals can get. It does not contain metals, It enhances the strength of chlorine, and it clarifies the water to unbelievable sparkling clarity. We add this product nearly every visit in the warmer months and you can tell by the sparkle! It has several other benefits as well, but don't count on finding it at a pool store. Once we do our summer pool start up and provide you with a clean, sparkling swimming pool or spa, your only job is to relax and enjoy your own Pool Heaven!
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