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37 Things New Pool Owners Must Know!

37 Things New Pool Owners Must Know!

  1. If you drain your pool, it can “pop” out of the ground by floating on the ground water. If it pops, it must be cut up and removed. Very expensive!
  2. Pool water must be tested weekly in order to insure the water is safe to swim in. Pool water can spread disease. Nobody can just look at the water and know what the situation is.
  3. Adding chlorine tabs each week without testing the water will result in a pool that is too acidic and has too much stabilizer. If the Department of Health were testing this pool, they would close it.
  4. There really is no alternative to using some kind of chlorine in pools. There are other systems such as ultraviolet, ozone and ionization which can assist in pool maintenance, but only chlorine creates the necessary sanitizer residual in the pool.
  5. Heavy use of the pool will use up the chlorine, and the water will not have adequate sanitizer to be safe for swimmers.
  6. Biguanides work pretty well up north as a sanitizer. Unfortunately, they don’t work well with our more extreme weather conditions. Adding chlorine to a pool with biguanides will turn it to jelly!
  7. Sunlight destroys chlorine. Stabilizer is added to pools to help protect the chlorine from the sun.
  8. Algae will form in a pool that has low chlorine, heavy use, or high levels of nitrates and phosphates. While algae is slippery, is not inherently dangerous. However, it does signify some kind of water problem.
  9. Consistent problems with algae usually indicate high levels of nitrates and phosphates, which promotes algae growth. Fertilizer used near the pool, chemicals used to clean pool decks, reclaimed water used to fill the pool, bird droppings on the screen cage, urine, decaying plants, and dogs are common sources of nitrates.
  10. You can test for nitrates and phosphates. There are commercial products which remove phosphates, but you have to drain and refill the pool if the level of nitrates is too high.
  11. With a salt system, chlorine is made by electrolysis from the salt (sodium chloride) added to the water. You can maintain a nice low, consistent level of chlorine and your water will be silky smooth.
  12. If you have a salt system, please remember, the pump must be running for the system to produce chlorine. Eight hours is usually a minimum.
  13.  In the dry season, water will need to be added to your pool each week. If you are adding more than 2″ of water/week, you probably have a leak. Pool leaks are pretty common; we detect and repair them every day.
  14. Having a green pool is against local ordinances, because it is a safety hazard for the neighborhood.
  15. Don’t use reclaimed water to fill your pool. It’s against Florida law to add reclaimed water to a pool. More importantly, reclaimed water has high levels of nitrates and phosphates which are fertilizer and will encourage algae growth in your pool.
  16. While we love dogs, dog pools end up with high levels of nitrates and phosphates, and will very often have problems with algae. Industry experts say, “One dog is equal to 50 swimmers!”
  17. If you have your pool refinished with fiberglass, you won’t be happy, because in three years the finish will start to chalk and leave the water cloudy.
  18. Painting your pool is common up north, but it won’t hold up in the Florida sun.
  19. Too little calcium in your pool will cause the water to “pull” calcium out of the pool finish, prematurely damaging the pool finish. Calcium should be tested and adjusted monthly.
  20. All pool finishes will ultimately end up stained. Proper pool care will make the finish last longer and look better.
  21. A pool pump should generally run 8 hours/day in the summer and 6 hours/day in the winter. Salt pools may require an hour or two more.
  22. You have a pool pump to run the water through the filter element to remove contaminants that promote the growth of bacteria and algae, and make the water cloudy.
  23. Filter elements need to be cleaned monthly. Manufacturers recommend they be replaced every year. You can generally get two or maybe three years out of them, but not longer.
  24. An automatic pool cleaner will keep your pool looking good all the time.
  25. If a hurricane approaches don’t drain your pool. Properly constructed pools are designed to drain away from your house. Turn off the power to the pool equipment and secure your pool deck, don’t worry about your pool.
  26. With all the pools and canals here, infant drowning is a pretty common occurrence. Make sure you have a plan and a safety fence.
  27. Broken or missing main drain grates in pools and spas are very dangerous because fatal entrapment events can occur.
  28. Solar pool heating will extend your pool season but is not adequate to swim in the winter.
  29. Propane pool heaters are very expensive to operate due to the high price of propane.
  30. Heat pumps are a very economical way to enjoy your pool all year. Of course, they can only heat your pool when the pump is running. It is normal for condensation to form underneath a heat pump.
  31. You won’t have to turn any valves if you add automation to your pool.
  32. The newest kind of automation lets your control your pool from anywhere via your smart phone. You can be out to dinner and turn your spa on so it’s ready when you get home!
  33. Most people like their pool to be set at 86- 88 degrees.
  34. Relatively inexpensive color changing L.E.D pool lights can make a dramatic light show in your pool.
  35. Energy efficient pumps and motors can reduce your electric bill by as much as $500/year.
  36. When you figure the cost of the chemicals and the time it takes you to take care of your pool each week, pool service is a bargain!
  37. If you have any additional questions, we are always happy to help. Please call us at (239) 574-1133.

Thank you,

The Pool Doctor


Reclaimed Water and Your Pool

Should you fill your pool with reclaimed water? Your water bill says: “Florida law prohibits the use of reclaimed water to fill swimming pools.” There