Pool Care and Cleaning

All pool owners must know how to keep their pool sparkling clean. A pool pump and filter are the first line of defense against leaves and other particles. Chemical treatments should likewise be used to kill bacteria and control contaminants.

Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Building and Repair, Pool Care and Cleaning

What is so special about black-bottom pools?

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Colored surfaces are basically an aesthetic choice by the owner of the pool. It is a myth that the darker the surface the warmer the pool. To illustrate, put a black plate and a white plate in the bottom of the pool. Remove them a few hours later and see if there is any temperature difference between them. There won't be. I've tried this. Water absorbs all the heat from the sun in the top 12 inches and never has a chance to reach the bottom. I have also monitored the temp. in white and black bottom pools that were next door to each other and had virtually identical conditions....no difference. Actually I have done this 3 times in the last 34 years to prove this point. Won a $500 bet on one them:-) Evaporative cooling is the single most important factor in pool temps. Every 7 mph of wind velocity doubles the evaporation rate.
Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Building and Repair, Pool Care and Cleaning, Saltwater Swimming Pools

How much should a 25 x 45 inground pool poured concrete no decking two lights auto cover polaris cleaner and pool heater cost?

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In spring 2010, we put in an 18x40 in Oklahoma. With all the bells & whistles, it came to about 30k. That included a diving board, $3,000 slide, 8' concrete in the back for the diving, 6' over where the slide is, 4' around the rest. A salt water system, vinyl 30mm liner, concrete coping around the edging, Roman style steps in the low end, the safety winter cover, 2HP pump (my pump is about 75' from pool), plus about 100sq ft more concrete back to our patio and I think that's about it. We have 2 skimmers, 2 bottom intakes in the deep end, 1 wall intake for the vacuum. 4 returns back into the pool + the slide return which is also plumbed from the pool, so the pool water runs through the slide which is NICE! So no cold hose water. My suggestion is to Internet research styles. I kinda knew what I was looking for when I walked in, then they suggested some of the extras like the coping around the pool edging where it meets the concrete. Normally there's a metal part that the concrete meets to, the cantilever coping added a nice finish too it. And from my past building experiences, I searched for a company that had an office. Most of these builders around here just have a cell number. I wanted an office that I can go to if things went out of whack. I was turned off by a few fiberglass pool installers because one number went to a guys house, and the 2nd contractor went to his cell phone. Be prepared, the installation destroys the yard. It depends where one lives. In Northern California, your configuration would cost between $25K to $35K, depending on the contractor. We live in Southern California. We are currently in the last and most trying stages of our development. Our contract price was a bit over $40,000 and I've battled to keep it that amount. Each time they have deemed it necessary to increase the cost with some unforeseen feature, I take away something which I can complete myself. Our features include: 14x28' pool. 7' diameter spa. Pebblecoat. No decking provided by builder. salt water system. Faux boulders and edging. Redwood bridge with shear decent water falls off both sides. Heater. Cleaner. No landscaping by builder. Baja reef with sitting boulder. 30' contiguous underwater bench. 3 pool lights and 1 spa light(Sounds excessive, but with the Black Pearl pebblecoat, it's a safety issue for me). When the builder is done, I anticipate a great pool, only to be surround by a dirt wasteland until I build the necessary arbors, patios, decking and landscaping. If I could have dug the hole myself, I would have. The rest will be completed with the 2 hands which are currently typing this response. It depends on where you live, if your backyard is dirt or dirt with big rocks, size, if a truck can get through to the backyard or if a bobcat has to be used, and what all you want in a pool. If you are getting bids from different companies, you need to look at how long they have been in business. You can go with a company that has been in business for 5 years and the next year they go out of business and you can not do a thing about any problems that you have with your pool. Go with a company that has been in business for at least 25 years and does more than just build pools. Look for a company that builds, remodels, and services pools. Also look for a company that has a retail store and has a monthly service department. You really want to stay with a company that can accommodate all your needs when it comes to your pool! I live in the Ohio Valley and we're getting estimates on an 18X36 pool in the neighborhood of $20-25,000, depending on materials. Concrete vs. vermiculite seems to make a difference. I can tell you, though, since you asked about an auto pool cover: friends of ours have one on their 18X36 pool; it cost $8,500! Unless you have serious safety concerns, you may want to stick with a simple solar cover (usually included in most pool package prices), with an deck anchored winter cover (about $1,500). It all depend... Do you want something in the class of a Yugo or VW or the class of a Aston-Martin or Maybach? Pool prices vary as widely as automobiles... a pool is not a pool! What are the soil conditions on your site? Do you have asoils report? What is access like? Do they have to take down a fence between the homes? How far is the closest dirt dump site? Do they get to pile the dirt in your back 40 acres? You get the picture... It depends... Volume pool builders do not supervise production, limit your material selections, build minimal strength pool shells that often times are not sufficient for the site's soil conditions, guesstimate the fluid dynamics (hydraulics & pump sizing), use rebound gunite in their shells, use minimal steel, use single pumps for multiple purposes (results in excess power consumption - as accessories are not used much, and the excess reserve power is spent daily for filtration!), don't use waterproofing compounds in their cements, build flimsy formwork, blah, blah, blah... You get the idea. If you can settle for a few headaches, poor follow through, little back end support. limited selections, then by all means use a volume builder. But quality takes time.... The rule of thumb is don't spend more than 7-10% of the value of your house, on a pool. And remember - cement, steel, lumber, and labor costs are rising exponentially, cement and steel shortages are being experienced in portions of the country! The pools we build average $250,000! (& that's the pool only! No decking, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, buildings, retaining walls, etc...). A licensed swimming pool professional, will be able to come to your home and prepare you a quote and you will then be able to make an informed decision with that information. Go ahead and make that appointment and your on your way. In the meantime ask yourself how you will use your pool, do you entertain alot, do you like water features? What did you like about the pool on your last vacation? How much time are you willing to spend on maintenance, or will you need full service? Is safety a concern, and what temp. do you like your pool water? Do you think you will want to exercise in the pool much? How many 6' loungers do you think youll need and do you plan on a patio set also? Do your kids plan on having many friends enjoy the pool at their house? Do you want the longest possible pool season. Are you willing to make monthly payments or are you planning on paying out of pocket. I noticed a TV ad for Disney $1,500.00 family of four for a week at the park, FREE-POOL included but you gotta go home after a WEEK, no Exceptions. A pool can be one of the most enjoyable affordable investments for the home. getapool.com good swimming take care. Northern, CA. bay area.......pool only ...38,000 and up.....pool/spa.....50,000 and up........100,000 for pool/spa here is very normal. The relative cost of your swimming pool will be dependent on where you are located and the current state of the local economy. Swimming pools are a luxury industry and also seasonal in many areas creating a niche that is harshly impacted by economic downturn. Slow periods will drive down prices quickly. Steel costs have increased for gunite swimming pools by over 250% in the last five years as an example of why current pool prices seem inflated. Material costs increased with cost of fuel increases, but have yet to drop since fuel prices have lowered. To understand what a pool should cost you should consider what the cost is to build the pool. The pool comes down to engineering, permits, material ordering, framing, steel, plumbing, pressure test, electrical requirements, inspection, concrete application, mud base and perimeter tile, mechanical room plumbing, coping forms, coping pour, interior surface prep, interior finish (marble, stone or crystal based mortar) and the finish and filling of the pool. The raw material and labor costs in Canada to build a gunite pool is around $25-$35,000 depending on where you are located. Typical retain pricing in Canada would be $35,000 on the low end and $65,000 on the high end.
Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Care and Cleaning

How do you clean murky and green pool water?

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To clean murky and green pool water, follow these steps: 1. First and foremost make sure you have good flow. Clean your filter and all your baskets. 2. Next, balance your water. If your alkalinity is low, you are running the risk of staining your pool. 3. Then, use a algaecide and shock your pool. When you purchase the algaecide ask someone that works there( or read the directions carefully). The ones that have been found to work best require you to shock with the treatment. 4. After that, run your filter 24 hours and test it again. The algaecide will bring your chlorine level down so you must make sure it does not get too low. At this point your water may be cloudy or you may have a lot of dead algae on the floor. 5. Vacuum up that algae and clean that filter out. If the water is cloudy use the directions below they are great! Just keep cleaning that filter out until that water is clear. Another effective way to solve this problem, using the cartridge filter, is this: 1. To kill the algae, use lots of chlorine, algaecide etc. 2. Coagulate the dead algae into large clumps. Pool supply stores sell a spray coagulator that attaches to a garden hose. Spray it over the pool and let it sit overnight. 3.Add diatomaceous earth to the filter. This white powder is sold in pool stores and used to be necessary before cartridges became affordable. Add a lot. This coats the filter and makes it impermeable, even to algae-sized particles. 4. Run the vacuum and filter till pressure exceeds 35, then clean. Cleaning the filter causes a flood of the white earth to run off, so pick a good site. I bring mine to the car wash and clean it with the rinse pressure hose. 5. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the pool is clear. This works, and you don't lose pool water, but here are a couple of points: 1. Prevention is best. Keep chlorine levels over 2ppm, use algaecide, even when the pool looks good. 2. The cartridge filter rarely survives. Once the pool is clear, buy a new filter and throw out the old one. Here is more advice and knowledge from Wiki s' contributors: First off you need to shock the pool. I recommend buying granular chlorine (normally about $5 for 2lbs) and mixing it with water. It is much cheaper than buying liquid shock. Add 2 tablespoons of glandular to one gallon of water and dissolve it. Broadcast around the pool, then run the filter for 48 hours. If algae is present, use a copper algaecide to rid the pool of the growth before shocking. Over chlorination will not cause algae growth. Period. Have the pool tested for phosphates. In many cases, this causes repeated algae growth. Then triple shock with 3L liquid chlorine per 10000L pool water. You have to add enough chlorine to kill all the algae and leave a bit of chlorine left over. Once the dead algae settles to the bottom, vacuum to waste. Heavily shock the pool, depending on how many gallons your pool is, preferably using liquid chlorine. Do that every other day until the algae is gone. Clean your filter at least twice a day if using a cartridge filter and backwash once a day if using a D.E. filter. You can also re-filter the pool or have a professional clean the pool. Alternative Methods and Technology Over the last four or five years we have been substituting an electronic purifier for chemicals. Chemicals in the main are old technology, are expensive, and if you are in a pool for a long time, you can get itchy skin and sore eyes. A company called Care Free Clearwater produces an electronic purifier developed by NASA. For us, it has worked very well over the years. We have not had any problems with "green" pools. It's true that too much chlorine does not cause algae growth, but there is a better and safer way to clean a pool. Advanced treatment options, such as ultraviolet technology, provides a greater destruction rate of bacteria, algae, virus and germs than any chemical treatment. Recent studies by the World Health Organization recognise UV as the only treatment option that kills the algae, bacteria, and virus without the harmful chemical side effects. You can reduce chemical use by as much as 95%. Science has provided a better way than using salt systems, chlorine, triple shock, and Muratic acid that is well worth looking into. It's true that too much chlorine will not feed algae, but too many chloramines, which is dead or dormant chlorine, absolutely can and will. When triple shocking with chlorine, you must understand that you can only do it to 10 times your chlorine level. If your chlorine level is 2.0 ppm, you must add enough chlorine to reach 12 ppm, or you are wasting time and money, and adding to the phosphate levels, which is algae's primary food. Ultraviolet is an awesome addition to any chemical, whether chlorine, bromine or salt. The key word is addition. Used as a stand alone sanitizer it will not recover quickly enough to kill bacteria in the water if you deplete its residual, which is like one person getting in a 500 gallon hot tub for 15 minutes and urinating once. Under those conditions, ultraviolet is no longer effective for quite some time. Also - Algae will eat up any chlorine added to the pool. Many pool owners do not check for the stabilizer(conditioner) readings in the pool. Use a test strip that will read the conditioner level in the pool water. A low conditioner level means that the chlorine in the water has nothing to "bind" to, or is not "stabilized". Low levels of conditioner will cause the chlorine in the pool to disipate in a couple of days, no matter how much chlorine you add. Another way of doing this is to add a specialty chemical designed to clear up the water in your pool. One such product is 'Clear Cloudy Pools' From Technical Pool Solutions. This product is really amazing all you do is add 1 oz per 1000 gallans and it is non-chlorine based and doesn't require that you shut down your pool. Unless of course it is too dirty to be open in the first place. This product removes all the particles from the water that are making your pool cloudy and drops them down to the main drain. Simply run your vacuum or main drain continuously until the particle have been removed. The first thing you do is try to shock the pool with chlorine this can sometime work well enough to fix the problem. Make sure that you brush hand vacuum (to Waste walls and floor of the pool after the dead algae has settled to the bottom. If that does not work try the same procedure with the aid of an algaecide. Follow the instructions on the container and mention to the pool shop where you buy it what you are doing You will be surprised how keen they will be to help you. If that still does not work you may need to get a floculent or clarifier to sink all of the algae to the bottom and then vacuum it to waste, once again get your pool shop to advise you regarding the floculents available in your location
Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Care and Cleaning

What mineral salts to clean pool tiles?

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Magnesium sulfate monohydrate is used as a blast media to clean tile
Asked in Pool Care and Cleaning

How do you get rid of algae smell in a pool?

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Drain, clean with appropriate cleaners, refill and utilize the correct sanitation chemicals in the correct quantities.
Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Care and Cleaning, Lawn Care

Why would pool water be green?

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Algae makes swimming pool water green. Here is advice and input: Your pool water turned green most likely because of an algae bloom in your pool water. When you shocked the pool and added the copper algaecide you might have oxidized the copper in the algaecide. What I would do if I were you is take a sample of the water (about 16oz.) to your local pool store and have them test for metals. Another possibility is that there is metal in the water, which will react with chlorine and turn green or brown. Many parts of the country have naturally high levels of metal in their water, so this can be a problem any time replacement water is added to a pool. Use Natural Chemistry's MetalFree or another chellating agent. Algae is probably at the bottom of your pool had same problem the bottom of my pool was brown. I went to pool store and they told me to do the following: raise pH above 8 test pH. next 1 lb of yellow out and 1 lb of shock run filter, then brush and then vacuum. next 12 hrs later 1/2 bag of shock. Next 12 hrs later 1/2 bag shock. Test your chemicals run filter brush and vacuum and you should be good to go my pool is above ground 4,500 gallons so talk to a pool store. Yellow out is shock by the way always read the product labels mixing the wrong chemicals together pose health risks. Your pool water is green because your PH is out of balance making your chlorine ineffective and your filtering system is not working correctly. Algae is certainly the cause of the green, but an imbalance of pH and/or alkalinity is why you have algae in the first place (while there is adequate chlorine). Very high or low pH significantly decreases the effectiveness of chlorine. I suggest that you test and adjust your pH and alkalinity first (take a water sample to your local pool store and have them test it if needed). Once those are balanced, shock the water and use an algaecide. Run the filter 24 hrs per day and vacuum the dead algae debris often - you'll also have to clean the filter almost daily. Once the green starts to disappear, add a blue clarifier to help clear the dead algae from the water and eliminate any cloudiness. The oxidation rate of your chlorine is affected by the pH level. ppm of your chlorine is just a quantity and the oxidation rate is the quality of the water. To properly control a pool you should use a pool controller that measures the oxidation rate or ORP. The absolute fix for algae bloomed pool: DRAIN , ACID WASH and REFILL. Acid Washing an In Ground Pool: Also called a drain & acid clean. An acid wash becomes necessary if the pool has turned into the "black lagoon". This may occur if the winterizing process is not done properly, or if the pool has been stagnant for a period of time so that algae has taken over. If you notice scaly, man-phibian creatures splashing around out back, it's probably time to drain & acid clean. Our general rule of thumb for determining the need for an acid wash is: if you can see the bottom of the pool (the floor) then you can usually bring it back with chemicals, labor and extensive filtering. However , once a pool has turned dark green or even black , algae and mold spores have impregnated themselves into every porous depth of the pool surface and are difficult or impossible to remove by traditional cleaning and chlorinating methods. As a result the pool will continue to spawn new mold, algae and bacteria at an accelerated rate causing the pool to turn green quickly even though you may be vacuuming and chlorinating more. This will play havoc on your filter media such as sand ,cartridges or DE requiring frequent media changes to remove the contaminants. If the floor is not visible, the cost of the chemicals and labor will generally be greater than the acid wash charge, and take much, much longer. Also, extensive algae blooms will permanently stain and adhere to plastered , concrete and gunite pools, making an acid wash desirable. An acid wash is, put simply, purposeful stripping of a tiny layer of plaster or concrete, exposing fresher , undamaged and clean material beneath. Therefore, it is ill-advised to make it an annual custom, which will accelerate the need for replastering. Most plaster coats (sometimes called whitecoat or marcite) are in excess of 1/2", so a few careful acid washes should not hurt. Pools can also be commercial strength bleach washed or high pressure washed if the effected area isn't that bad. Costs to acid wash and emptied pool range between 900.00 and 1200.00 in Maryland , Virginia and DC. If your pool is filled with contaminated water and debris, the cost to drain and acid wash may range 1600.00 to 2800.00 depending on the degree of contamination and the amount of non-drainable debris that must be removed and disposed of by manual labor. You may also decide on an acid wash not because of swamp conditions, mold , algae and bacteria but just to bring out a brighter, whiter finish. Mineral stains and/or deposits, chlorine stains, even dirt stains...an acid wash is always a dramatic aesthetic improvement. If your pool has had years of algae blooms, and if your pool seems to grow algae overnight or just bloom very easily....changing the water and acid washing the surfaces algae sticks to can give you an algae free summer and save you a bundle in lost pool time , labor , filter media and chemicals. Acid is a dangerous substance. Pool company personnel are specially trained in its application and wear protective clothing and breathing apparatus during the acid wash. To protect our environment, the acid/water waste should be neutralized with soda ash prior to its being pumped to a safe location. In many states , permits may be required. If it is a clear green then it is copper, cloudy green is algae the best, safest, and cheapest way to remove the copper is by using Alum. The same alum used when making pickles, just look down the spice isle in the short bottles. So clean your pool so this does not happen to you, ok use cleaning product to clean it. If it get to bad get pool cleaner man to do it for you.
Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Care and Cleaning, Algae and Phycology

How do you get rid of black algae in your pool?

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Black algae is a serious problem, particularly during the summer. In the semi-private pool we had, the technician tried to fix the problem with the water in the pool. We ended up [hired a new pool company] having to empty the pool, do the remedial things to the pool surface, replace the sand filter. It was expensive and probably would have been easier to do it the hard way first. If it is at the bottom, brush with s/s brush turn pump off and add trichlor on top of the algae, let it seat for 2-3 days, brush again. If it is in the walls add silver based liquid algaecide as per manufacturer's recommendations. "Black Algae" (actually blue-green algae) forms in cracks and crevices on pool surfaces, especially plaster finishes. We normally find black algae growing in, but not limited to, shady areas of the pool. Black algae is more typically found in concrete or plaster finished pools; it is very uncommon to find it in vinyl liner pools. It is known for a heavy slime layer and "skeletal growths" that make it impervious to normal chlorine levels (1.0 - 2.5 ppm). Black algae can grow "condominium style" providing layers of algae one on top of the other. Slight cracks in plaster or fiberglass walls are perfect breeding grounds for black algae especially when the pool is not properly maintained. Two ways to get rid of black algae, algaecides typically do not work, mainly just a waste of money. First way is to spread either cal hypo or granular triclor directly on the algae. Lower Ph so the killing form of chlorine is more effective generally 7.0 to 7.4. You first should brush the spots with a ss brush. Do not do this on a dark plaster or vinyl liner pool, chlorine will either bleach or stain color. When doing this turn off pool sweep for a few days. Second and most effective way is to get two cases of liquid chlorine 8 gallons, and two gallon of ammonia hydroxide (most pool stores can order this for you) and muriatic acid. Close the pool for two weeks. Do not let anyone swim or animals drink from the pool for at least two weeks (diarrhea). Lower pH to around 7.0 Add the 8 gallons of chlorine around the pool. Turn on filter pump let run for 24 hours at least. Now you have to add the amonia hydroxide. When you do this make sure that no one hangs around the pool for a few hours (there are some gasses from the mixture of chemicals). let your system run as normal after the 24 hours. Brush pool with ss brush as often as possible. And make sure that the pool is not use. can not stress this enough. Wait till the chlorine residual has lowered to safe levels to reuse pool. At least two weeks. May have to add more chlorine after week one depends on the amount of BA, may have to try method one during this process. What this does is with the combination of ammonia and chlorine raises the residual to around 50 ppm and burns out the BA from the root. Once this is done there will or may be etching in the plaster from were the BA was, to help with this get a sanding block from your local pool store or professional, and sand the areas were the BA was to make the plaster more uniform. I am a pool professional and have done this on a few pools and works like magic. I have done this to a pool that was covered with black algae, tried everything on this pool and nothing else worked also did the first way that i talked about, only helped a little just slowed down. Do not scrub the pool with acid, will do nothing other than burn plaster. You can use liquid chlorine to scrub pool, this works to kill the algae and helps to bleach the plaster and disinfects the pool when a pool was not properly sanitized. Muriatic acid is not going to kill the algae, only will temporarily make the algae disappear. If you have your pool re-plastered make sure that the plasterer cuts away the spots were the algae was. I have seen pools that had Black algae before being re-plastered and soon after new plaster was applied it came back. Some times you have to remove the gunite as well. Caution Mixing Any type of chlorine product with amonia hydroxide is asking for a dangerous out come. Don't Do It. Balance your pool water, brush the algae spots with a stainless steel algae brush to break the outer shell, in a vinyl liner pool use a 3M black scrubber pad. Having done this, super shock raising Free Available Chlorine to 5 to 10 ppm add a good copper or silver based algaecide, make sure the product is chelated which will prevent staining and follow the instructions to the letter. These are products that more is not better.
Asked in Pool Care and Cleaning

How do water boatmen get in the pool?

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They fly. If you see them failry close up, they have a small set of wings and can fly. They come into the pool looking for food such as algae.
Asked in Pool Care and Cleaning, Rules of the Road, The Difference Between

How can you remove the white line on the tile?

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I have seen entire pools damaged by crushed glass and glass bead blasting. That's why I don't recomend using it when options exist. I have done a lot of tile cleanings and they do not come off easy. Chemicals are a waste of money. I have heard of Pressure washing as an alternative (only works with light build-up)and i don't mean to down any person whom has used a sander but it can harm the tile. Yes the sanding may work but you might end up causing yourself a large expense in the long run. but the best way is to blast it with Glass Bead.
Asked in Pool Care and Cleaning, Mice and Rats

How do you keep mouse out of swimming pools?

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If you are talking about wild mice then the chances are that they are ending up in the pool because they are trying to get a drink. So perhaps if you made water more easily accessible away from the edge of the pool they would get their water from there and not fall in the pool. I understand wild mice are an unpopular pest but if its wild mice then it would be the only way to stop them short of building a barrier around the pool. Mice do not like to cross open ground, so if you can place low water bowls in amongst foliage or in dark corners, they will far prefer those water access points. It's also a kind act, for the animals who share our world.
Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Care and Cleaning, Botany or Plant Biology

How do you get rid of yellow algae in your pool?

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Orange or yellow-colored spots in pool water or on pool surfaces is generally called mustard algae. This can be brushed off, but unless you use a strong algaecide they'll come back. You make sure your alkilinity and pH are correct, add 2 and 1/2 gallons of liquid chlorine, 4 to eight caps full of Yellow Treat, lightly brush the pool, run pump 24 hours,backwash or rinse cartridge, keep stabilized chlorine tablets in your pool weekly and start by checking your T.D.S. level's and see if you have stabilizer in your water. No Mor Problems is also a excellent product that can be used in conjunction with Yellow Treat. use mustard algecide. simple as that. its like 15$ a quart. I use a product called "PHOSfree", by Natural Chemistry. Once you get rid of the Mustard Algae (through various steps), this product is used once a week as a preventative. The way I understand it from my local pool people is that the algae lives off of the phosphates in your pool, Phosfree kills the phosphates, therefore the algae cannot live. Per information on bottle: "Phosfree" is not an algaecide or algaestat and does not kill algae. When added to your skimmer, a thin coating of Phosfree forms on the filter and phosphates are reduced to a very low level as pool water flows through it. Extensive research has proven phosphates are the limiting nutrient (food) for algae growth in lakes and rivers, and this is also true in swimming pools. Natural Chemistry's complete phosphate program results in clear perfect water, no waterline rings, no chemical odors, and phosphates. Normal sanitizer levels will prevent algae growth." I'm sure this sounds like a commercial or that I'am an employee, but I assure you I'am just a very satisfied customer. This is the second summer using this in my pool, and I haven't had any mustard algae. Kim H. Charlotte, NC The last resort to get rid of the algae is to drain your pool and chlorine bath it. To chlorine bath your pool all you do is walk around the inside of the pool while pouring strait chlorine down the plaster or pebble-tec. Make sure that you spend plenty of time pouring the chlorine around the lights and other places that are covered in your pool because algae could very well be hiding behind them. Once you have done this you should be able to just fill you pool back up with fresh water leaving the chlorine in the bottom if you don't have a pump to take it out. Visit This site to learn more about pool cleaning! Brandon D. Chandler, AZ Yellow algae is a result of a lack of chlorine in the pool. Either the pool has had no chlorine added, or the pool has become overstabilized to the point where there is not enough free chlorine to kill the yellow algae. Either way, the solution is relatively simple. For an average sized pool (10,000 to 15,000 gallons), add 5 pound of granular sodium di-chlor shock, as well as an entire bottle of a product known as AlgaTec (made by Easy Care). To prevent any algae from reoccurring, begin using a phosphate remover (such as PhosFree). Ask your pool professional to test your phosphate levels, and reduce them to less than 100ppm. Jody - Ohio I have an inground, vinyl sided, salt generator pool. I have been dealing with mustard algae for close to a month. After doing a lot of research, I have resolved the problem...almost overnight. As others have said, the problem is essentially chlorine levels, but adjusting to a normal level now is not going to solve the problem. Here is what I did to resolve it. I purchased a product from Ace Hardware called Yellowrid. The instructions that I followed are: 1) increase PH to a level of 8. 2) add entire contents of bottle of yellowrid as described - 1 container treats 15,000 gallons. 3) shock the pool (I didn't think this was permitted with a salt generator, but it is). 4) switch the filtration to the main drains only and allow the system to run continuously until the problem is resolved. If you have an automatic cleaner, run this 24 hours as well. 5) 12 hours after the initial shock, shock the pool again. 6) 24 hours after step 5, shock the pool again. The pool will clear up within the first 24 hours (no more sickening green/yellow color). 7) allow the pool to return to normal levels - test the water and make adjustments as necessary. Mustard algae will return in force if you don't get it all. Make sure the levels of chlorine are kept to the optimal for your system. Good luck and happy swimming!
Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Care and Cleaning

How much muriatic acid do you add to a swimming pool?

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Initial care must always be taken when handling acid don't add concentrated acid directly to the water, it is safer to dilute it in a bucket first, and wear eye protection. Acid can be washed of by using copious amounts of water to dilute it. This depends on the pH of the pool at the time and the size of the pool as well. In the past normal practice was to have a test kit on hand to test the pH of the water, which should fall some where between 7.2 and 7.6. And from the results calculate the amount of acid that needs to be added to the pool. These days it is easier to take a sample of water to the pool shop where it can be electronically tested, giving you exact requirements re the pool water (this is usually a free service). There is any number of ways for testing pool water just check with your pool shop or browse the web to find the method that suits you best. You can easily calculate how much muriatic acid to add using this pool wizard calculator. Always be careful with acid if you have a stained concrete deck, you will ruin the stain. Having a properly balanced pool is not difficult, but it does take work. I'm the pool operator at our local YMCA and keeping an 80,000 gallon pool balanced is pretty easy, once you all the elements in place and know what you're doing. Chlorine 3.5-4.5, alkalinity 80-100, pH 7.6-7.8, not 7.2, hardness 150-250, not up to 400. You have to stay on top of it because the chlorine can go down in a matter of hours if no one properly checks it. Amount of acid depends on you pH and/or alkalinity level. See the chart in the link below for an exact dosage.
Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Care and Cleaning, Pool Heating

Why would pool water be cloudy?

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Cloudy water can be caused for a number of reasons: poor filtration, imbalance of chemicals in your pool such as total alkalinity, pH, calcuim hardness and chlorine, imbalance of total chlorine and free chlorine (referred to as chlorine demand), etc. It could also be that your have a lot of micro particles that your filter cant catch. You might want to try a chlorifier that makes the tiny particles clump together and easy to remove with a vacuum. This condition occurred with me twice last year. The diagnosis for me was "mold". I was using Bacquacil, and the dealer told me to test for mold by pouring 1 gallon of bacquashock directly into the skimmer. If the return subsequently starts blowing white instead of clear water, it's mold. The only recourse was to superclorinate, which of course made a big mess, then vacuum and restart with bacquacil again after pool cleared up. The water is cloudy due to poor water chemistry. Most likely a pH problem. Take water into a pool store. Sometimes cloudiness is also due to using a calcium based shock. Such as the brand sock-it Double shock your pool with liquid chlorine (12.5%). A double shock is 2L of chlorine for every 10000L of water in your pool. The cloudiness is likely the start of algae. You may also find a clarifier helpful after double shocking to help eliminate the particles that will settle to the bottom of the pool. Make sure all of your levels are balanced. then if there is no improvement add a clarifier ONLY if you are using a sand or cartridge filter. it will clog a filter. First make sure ALL your levels are good depending on the filter type that is used perform a backwash vacuum. if using a sand filter try some DE in small doses for it will clog the filter let it run through the filters watch your pressures when they get to the point you normally backwash than do so. Have a complete water analysis to find the cause for cloudy water. I disagree with all the above answers: There are only two main causes for a white cloudy pool #1 is lack of Sanitizer. #2 is lack of filtration due to a poor filter or a clogged pump. I would start with #2 turn your system off make sure there are no blockages in your pump basket,skimmer & main drain.Make sure your filter is properly cleaned.Then #1 check your sanitizer level make sure it is in a safe operating range. Your pool water should be turned over every 6-8 hours. Cloudy pool water is usually the result of one or more of the following: filter/ filtration problems, high calcium hardness level, high conditioner level, high pH, low pH, high total alkalinity, high level of total dissolved solids, low chlorine level, algae, large volume of microscopic particles in the pool water.
Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Care and Cleaning

Can you see urine in a swimming pool?

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no not really. it will disolve in to the pools chemicals and that's what makes it invisable. :] The concentration from one or two little accidents is too small to see, but it is urine, perspiration etc that is responsible for sore eyes etc. In chlorine-treated pools at least, they react with the disinfectant to produce unpleasant irritants and release chlorine. The chlorite itself does not cause irritation when used in the correct dilution (2 - 4ppm).
Asked in Pool Care and Cleaning, Cleaning

If there is rust in your water supply how would you clean it to fill a small rectangular plastic pool?

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Rust in your water is caused by iron in your water supply. You can get a water softner and use the softened water to fill your pool, or you can fill your pool with the rusty water and use a scale and metal out chemical that you could purchase at any local pool dealer. If you choose to purchase the scale and metal out I would recommend taking a sample of your water so that they can test to find out the level of iron in your water. They then could instruct you on how much of the product you should use to clear your water up.
Asked in Pool Care and Cleaning

How do you convert from baquacil to chlorine?

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From talking with my spa guy, the only way is to drain, rinse and then refill. This is true for going the other way too. In no way is Baquacil compatible with halides. Just converted this year myself. You need to wait until your Baquacil reading is zero. My pool had a reading that was false (showing Baquacil when none was present) so my dealer had me take a bucket of water and add some chlorine bleach, If their is no reaction, you can start the conversion. I added 2 gallons of shock a day for 5 days and then started with the chlorine tablets. Your pool will turn a murky color and you'll neeed to clean your filter a few times, but it will clear and you'll be on your way.I would have stayed with Baquacil, but I got algae every August and my friends with chlorine had none. Chlorine is a lot cheaper too. I was told from another pool guy in my area, if you have baquacil, let your pool drain and get baquacil really low. Don't add anything else, then when your readings are really low slowly go into chlorine. You can't just throw it in and everything, just gradually. I am HATING baquacil, I read once it is cloudy its murder to get out and THEY were RIGHT. I have almost drained my 16x32 down to the bare to just get the cloud out with drop out. I am starting back immediately with chlorine. More detail is avaiable at http://www.poolforum.com/pf/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=223&topic_id=1242&mesg_id=1242&page=, but in brief: Use Chlorine to Raise PPM to ~15. Filter constantly. Don't flip at the bizzare color changes that will occur. Check Clorine several times per day, add more as needed to raise to ~15. Watch filter pressure, backwash when needed. Wait. When water clears, replace filter sand. enjoy your new goop-free pool!
Asked in Pool Care and Cleaning

How do you close a pool for the season?

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Follow these instructions to professionally close your pool for the winter season, protecting it from winter's harsh conditions and making opening it next season simple You will need the following chemicals Pool Shock, Algaecide, and Chlorinating Tablets You will need the following Accessories Winter Cover, Pool Pillows or Inner-tubes, Chlorine Float Dispenser and Water Bags (for in ground pools only) Step One - Debris & Chemicals Remove any debris from pool water by use of a leaf rake attachment. Add the appropriate amount of shock treatment to the pool water, as prescribed on the packaging. Add the appropriate amount of algaecide to the pool water, as prescribed on the packaging. Run your filter for the appropriate time to circulate all water once. (See your filter documentation for your size pool) Step Two - Vacuum & Water Level Vacuum your pool while setting your filter to the "back wash" or "waste" setting. (This will help lower your water level) After vacuuming, install the sump pump and drain pool to about 6 inches below your thru-the-wall skimmer Step Three - Parts Disassembly & Cleaning Disconnect all ladders, filter systems, hoses, solar reels and/or other accessories. Using standard household cleansers, thoroughly clean all ladders, solar reels and/or other accessories. Disassemble the filtration system. Remove sand, cartridge or DE powder from your filtration tank. Thoroughly clean all filter system parts. Allow all items to dry. Store all items in an area that will not be subject to freezing temperatures. Step Four - Pillow & Cover Installation Inflate all pool pillows or inner tubes. You can also use plastic bottles with sand or anti freeze in them for ballast Install one pillow for every 15' of linear water surface. (Example: a 15' x 30' would require at least two pillows) Tie pillows to pool area via nylon rope and place equally with respects to pool walls and each other. (this is extremely important! This prevents freeze damage) Install winter cover as prescribed by the covers manufacturer. Step Five - Winter Tips During the winter months, remove any excess snow from the winter cover. (If you have a solid cover, this will prevent excessive weight form tearing you cover) (If you have a mesh cover, this will prevent excessive water build up) just one thought to improve upon this answer in regards to the cover: when you install the cover, be sure to run the cover straight down the sides of the liner/wall prior to touching the water. then run the cover flat across the water. this will allow expansion when the water freezes and should prevent your 'water socks', or whatever you have anchoring your cover, from being pulled into the pool. hope this helps
Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Care and Cleaning

My pool water level always low?

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You may have a leak. If you add water so that it's up to the middle of your skimmers, and within 12 hours the water level has gone down more than 1/4 inch or so - you probably have a leak. If it takes several days for the level to go down, it's more likely to be evaporation.
Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Care and Cleaning, Evaporation and Condensation

How much water evaporates from a pool?

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Water Evaporation from a Pool The evaporation rate depends on the surface area of the pool, the temperature, and the relative humidity and the wind. I'm sure an "equation" containing the variables is known. Perhaps a civil or mechanical engineer would have a specific equation. I did find what seems to be a credible source that provides a reasonable answer. Here is the link: Marin municipal water district. They have a chart that lists 200-300 gallons per week for a medium-sized pool -- about 2%-5% of typical pool volumes. "Splash-out" water is probably a much more significant source of water loss. Here are more opinions and answers: In my 14 years of experience, I found that there are a lot of circumstances involved in how much water is lost during evaporation. The best way to find out how much water your pool is losing is the following: Take a 5-gallon bucket and make a mark with a permanent marker at about the halfway point. Fill the bucket with water up to that point, and set the bucket right beside your swimming pool. Simultaneously, use a pencil to mark the water level on your pool tile. In that way, your can determine how much water has evaporated from the bucket and from the pool. The evaporation rate of water from a swimming pool is fairly easy to calculate; given you have access to a psychometric chart or a water vapor tables. W=(A (69.4+30.8 (V)) / Y )(Pw-Pa) W = lb / hr of evaporation. A = surface area of the swimming pool. V = mean wind velocity (mph). Y= Latent heat (approx. 1000). Pw - Sat. Press at Room Air temp (in Hg). Pa - Sat. Vapor press at water temp (in Hg) Wow! Who has enough time on their hands to run complicated math formulas. A simple rule of thumb in the pool industry is that 1/2" to 1" per day is normal evaporation. Evaporation more than 1" per day would indicate a considerable amount of splash-out or a water leak. The above answer is completely incorrect!! I have worked in the pool industry for over 30 years, and I am currently a leak detection professional who teaches my craft at the swimming pool convention. I am also a founder of an international alliance of swimming pool leak specialists. 1/2" to 1" per day is not a general rule of thumb in the pool industry and is excessive! Use a bucket of water set next to your pool to determine how much water evaporates in your area. Even two pools at neighboring properties can have different evaporation rates due to differing environments. In different areas the rate of loss varies, but in Houston, Texas, we figure on evaporation of 1" to 1.5" per week during the summer. Some people don't realize that water evaporation is much greater in the fall than in the summer -- when water temperatures are high and air temperatures are cold (especially at night). This will just suck the water right out of the pool. I am sure there are a lot of variables regarding geographic location and humidity levels. In the Mid-Atlantic, I would consider anything over 1/2" per day the mark to start looking for problems (unless you have a heated spa or waterfall, etc.).
Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Building and Repair, Pool Care and Cleaning

Can you put ceramic tile over fiberglass steps in a liner pool?

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yes you can put tile over almost anything. The most important item would be that the mastic / or adhesive would be required to be a water proof, (non affected) type, and dry with a certain amount of flexibility. The best type is a silicone based adhesive that will remain a little pliable. There can be no water during the adhesion process though, and you will not be able to use a normal grout. They make grout simulated materials that are similar to silicone as well, but without sheen and therefore give a finished look.
Asked in Swimming Pools, Pool Building and Repair, Pool Care and Cleaning

How do you find a leak in the vinyl liner of an above ground pool?

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Here are more recommendations from other WIKI ers: This may not be the answer your looking for, but we used goggles and just went around looking really carefully. It took a while but we did it! There were small air bubbles around the hole - actually we found four holes, but at least we got them! We've had our pool for about 12 years (are in the process of possibly replacing it) and have had only one hole in liner in all those years. The way I found it (yes, the water appeared to be draining, first) was that the grass in an area around the pool was much greener than anywhere else. So, diving down around that area I found the slice in the liner, actually fairly quickly, and placed a wet patch on it, which held thereafter. First check the perimeter of the pool for soaked areas or look at the sand cove and see if any craters have formed, as the water washes away the sand it will leave a ctater in the floor. For small leaks try this. Turn off your pump so the water is still. I put in a dozen OS so 3" squares of paper towels scattered through out the pool. As the water leaks out it will drag a couple pieces of paper towels to the leak. This method has worked for me in the past for small leaks. We were told to use red food coloring. When you drop it in the water, it will be pulled towards the hole. It can take awhile. Use a rubber hose to listen for the leak! Fill with water, plug both ends and put one end to your ear, and probe around the liner with the other end. Make sure it's a quiet evening and believe it or not, even a small leak makes a lot of noise. If you have some electronics background, a small microphone encased in epoxy and a good audio amp will make a excellent leak finder. You sound like you are sure that you have a leak and the answers above cover that. I just wanted to offer a hint to anyone that isn't sure whether they have a leak or if the water is just evaporating. Fill a bucket full of water - level with the pool - and place it on the step - if it is evaporation - the level should drop about the same. The most common way to locate a leak is to swim to the bottom of the pool with a bottle of food color. Squeeze a drop or two by seams or other suspicious locations. The leak will draw the water towards and out of the hole. It is helpful to wear a pair of gogles and to drain the pool leaving about three to four feet of water. See the Related Link for "Use this in your pool to fix ANY leak" to the bottom for the answer. I used ink (specially made for pools) to find my leak and it worked, after looking for days and even over looked the spot where the leak was found. It was until I read this how to and specifically the one about the creaters that are formed on the floor of the pool; that is exactly where the leak was. Also the water outside the pool was in line with the crater. I used Automotive Goop to make repairs in the vinyl liner from the outside. If the hole is small you can wipe away the running water, clean the surface with paint thinner, and apply the Goop to the hole. The water may leak through at first, but apply pressure and smear it into the hole and the leak will hopefully stop. (I lick my finger to prevent the goop from sticking to my skin so I can work it) It worked for me on numerous holes (my crazy dog goes ballistic over water and won't stop jumping at the walls:)and it is a cheap fix. After the first application is dry, add more layers.
Asked in Pool Care and Cleaning, Arts and Crafts, Chemistry

What products is equivalent to soda ash?

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Washing soda is the same thing as soda ash. ...................................................................................................................................... 2. Soda Ash is the common name for Sodium Carbonate (Na2 CO3)