Here are the answers to a few of the most common questions we've come across, as well as a few swimming pool related tips. If your question is not covered here, or if you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact Palm Beach Pool Doctor, Inc..
Do I really need monthly maintenance services for my swimming pool?
Weekly maintenance and cleaning is required to keep your pool safe and clean. Whether or not you need the full range of services Palm Beach Pool Doctor, Inc. provides really depends on how much time and effort you are willing to spend on your swimming pool yourself. If your only interest is to be able to jump in at any given time, then you probably want to consider getting the full service package.
Is there any way to prevent stains in my pool?
Absolutely! Stains in your pool are caused by organics, metals and minerals that come in contact with the plaster. Palm Beach Pool Doctor, Inc. can help reduce the appearance of stains in your pool by introducing sequestering agents in your swimming pool, which serve to pull these metals and minerals out of the water. In the extreme case an acid wash can be performed.
Why do I need to fix the leak in my pool?
A pool leak can be a very costly problem. A smart pool owner will get the pool leak detected and repaired immediately. If you wait too long many expensive things can result. A pool leak can expose the skimmer area allowing the pump to run dry and burn out. The cost of filling the pool with thousands of gallons of water will hike up your water bill tremendously. The introduction of new water that may contain high phosphates will cause the need for chemical treatments and cost you and your pool cleaning service a lot of money in extra chemicals. You may lose your pool cleaning service as a result. No one wants to lose money. Last but not least where is the water going? It is eroding a hole underground somewhere. It could cause your pool or surrounding deck to crack and cave in, disaster!!
Why do I see different colors of algae in my pool?
Yellow or mustard algae is yellowish or brownish in color and is common in pools with low circulation and or low disinfection levels.
Green algae usually takes a while to develop. It usually needs high phosphate levels to form colonies and take over a pool. Low disinfection levels and poor circulation can help the algae bloom.
Black algae are typically spots and if you see them they are already inside the plaster of the pool interior. This is the hardest form of algae to get rid of. Once you get this algae you can only suppress it by scraping the cap off the organism and removing the phosphorous from the water. Maintaining high chlorine and low pH levels will keep it in check until the phosphate levels get high again.
How long should I run my pool equipment each day?
In the summer it is recommended to run the pump for 6 to 8 hours. In the winter it is common to turn the time back to 4 to 5 hours. When you have a heater it may take more time to maintain the pool at a high temperature maybe 8 to 10 hours. There are variable speed pumps that run at low speeds for a set amount of time saving money on electricity and people commonly keep these pumps running longer than single speed pumps.
Why do I have rust stains coming through the plaster in the pool interior?
This is called spalling. Concrete is porous and if the re-bar is too close to the surface of the pool on the inside of the concrete shell it can rust. This is very bad because eventually the concrete will crack and pop off a chunk of the surface of the pool. The plaster must be removed in this area and there are epoxy products and concrete products that can be applied to the area before re-plastering.
I have a pool service so why does my pool keep turning green?
The answer is not simple but it can be explained. There are many factors at work inside a pool or spa. Physics, chemistry and biology are intertwined and when everything is working correctly your pool stays crisp and clear.
Circulation is very important because the chemicals that disinfect the pool need to get around to every surface to keep bacteria and algae from growing. Rinse the filter once a month and replace the filter every 1.5 to 2 years with a new cartridge. If you do not do this the circulation will be inadequate and algae will grow in the areas of lowest circulation. Improper or broken jet nozzles, skimmer openings, and drain covers can also cause circulation issues. Air leaks in the plumbing will cause bubbles to come out of the jets and also slow down water circulation. When your pool was designed and built everything was new and worked perfect over time, things will break down or wear and need to be repaired or replaced.
Rough surfaces happen over time. Water is very aggressive and will deteriorate the interior surface of the pool. Fiberglass, plaster products and paint all deteriorate due to normal wear. Improper calcium levels and shocking the pool will also speed up the deterioration. These rough areas upon magnification become like mountain chains where bacteria and algae hide and colonize.
Low disinfection levels of chlorine and pH may be the cause if you have bi-weekly or just a bad pool service company. Proper levels of chlorine, pH, alkalinity, calcium, and stabilizer must be maintained on a weekly basis to prevent bacteria and algae from growing.
Many environmental issues exist in on and around your pool or spa that have a direct effect on the water quality. Phosphates are the food source for algae. If there are low levels or no phosphates in your pool water, algae will not grow with only low levels of chlorine added each week. Suntan lotion, detergent residue, human sweat, landscape debris, tap water, rain running over and into the pool from a dirty roof, moldy pool deck or from damaged landscaping (especially palms) are some of the common sources of organic phosphorous. Showering before entering a pool, removing landscape debris, cleaning the house roof and deck, and trimming away/treating for insects in palms helps to decrease the rate that phosphorous builds up in pool water. In south Florida our palms have become a host to a plague of whiteflies. They damage palms and excrete waste all over the affected palms. When the rain washes over the palm leaves and into the pool the waste can immediately turn the pool green because it contains ammonia. When the ammonia touches chlorine it vaporizes the chlorine. The oils from the palms contain heavy amounts of phosphorous and add food to the pool water rapidly. Many pest control companies are aware of this issue and offer a treatment for the affected landscaping, but continued treatments are necessary. If this is happening in your pool please look into a remedy for this or understand that you will need continued phosphate removal treatments in your pool.
Tips To Enjoy Your Swimming Pool
- Make sure first aid and life saving equipment, such as a life preserver, is always kept close to the pool.
- Never leave children unattended in or around the pool.
- Always make sure that all toys and pool accessories (such as floating mattresses) are taken out of the pool when you are done using it. Toys left behind in the pool may lure a child back to the pool when an adult is not present.
- Keep an eye on the weather. It is extremely dangerous to be in or around the pool during an electrical storm, so you should head inside if the sky darkens. The rain will prevent you from seeing the bottom of the pool in case someone is drowning and the lightning can kill immediately!
- Consider enrolling in a CPR course. No one wants to think of the worst, but being prepared for it doesn't hurt and may mean life instead of death.
- Fun in the sun around the swimming pool is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but too much fun may amount to sunburns, especially in younger children. Make sure everyone is wearing waterproof sunscreen, and keep babies and infants in the shade when they are not in the water.