Tag Archives: swimming pool

Best Lighting for an Above Ground Pool

Night swimming during the hot summer evenings is one of the best reasons to own an above ground swimming pool. But to be safe, pool lighting is something that every pool owner should have. It allows everyone to be seen in case there’s an accident; plus it does give an ambiance all of its own. So below are some suggestions on different types of pool lighting for your above ground pool:

• Overhanging lights: These lights usually come in kits and when put together, they hang over the top of the lip of the pool. Here there’s a plastic arm which is attached to each light or set of lights. The wires then run down to the bulb and are water proof. These kits aren’t very expensive and sometimes look cheap so they may detract from the appearance of your pool.

• Through Wall Pool Lights: These lights have a more professional look and are installed in the wall of the pool. The lights don’t interfere with swimming, and they don’t stick out from the pool walls either. To have them mounted properly to avoid leaks, they are carefully installed through the pool liners and the structural pool walls. It may be better and safer to have a professional install them than doing it yourself though.

• Floating lights: These light have been used in swimming pools for many years. The best thing about these lights is that they just float around without having to penetrate the liner. Also, these lights run on batteries so there isn’t any electrical wiring involved.

• Magnetically attached lights: If your pool has metal walls, you may want to consider these lights. The lights have magnetic backs which are attracted to the metal walls. This way, the lights don’t penetrate the liner, and you can place them anywhere you want

Any lights you choose to purchase; however, need to generate sufficient lighting for night swimming. So if the lights aren’t bright enough in the first install, you will need to add more or better lighting for more illumination if you want safety for your swimmers. That involves added cost so it is best to get it right the first time. Most lights though will tell you what size of a pool they will light.
Colorful and soothing lights at night can make swimming a whole new experience.

The Purpose of Clarifiers in Your Pool

clear-pool-waterMany new pool owners wonder what clarifiers are and why are they needed in a swimming pool. Now pool clarifiers are not supposed to be used for the entire swimming season continuously, but to clear up certain problems. Plus, clarifiers are generally used when the pool is first opened or after an explosion of algae that has been treated. It is also needed if filtering has been reduced or chlorination reduced. So this product is designed to make your pool water clear again if it’s cloudy.

Too, if you find your using a clarifier regularly then other factors could be the problem causing cloudy water. So you may want to check to see if your PH is too high, if you have high TDS or if your calcium is too high. Also problems with cloudy water can be caused by high alkalinity and cyanuric acid which is also high. Additionally, if your filtrations system is poor, if you don’t keep your pool clean or if the circulation in your pool is slow; all this can contribute to a cloudy pool.

However; if all the above is in order and your chemical levels are maintained, but your pool is still cloudy, then you will need a clarifier if you are not adding one. Now a clarifier works by trapping particles which are invisible and visible in the filter. These particles are then drawn into the filter by the circulating movement and removed from the water. So when you are treating your pool with a clarifier, run your filter for 24 hours during the period of treatment or as long as you can to improve both filtration and circulation.

As much as you want to during this, don’t over clean the filter. Clean the filter or backwash when there is a 7-9 pound reading on the pressure gauge. Also after the treatment, make sure you maintain the proper chlorine levels and water PH balance to keep your pool clean and clear.

So, using a clarifier when needed will give you a sparkling clean pool.

How to Use Pool Sealer on Your Pool Deck

pool-deckSealing your pool deck around your swimming pool is the best way to keep your deck looking new. It also will make it easier to clean it when it becomes dirty, and sealing it will help to prevent the deck from absorbing water, salt and pool chemicals from splashed water. Too, it will help to prevent staining when your swimming pool is invaded by Kool Aid cup carrying kids. Additionally, sealing your deck enhances and preserves its color as well. Now all this deck work isn’t difficult, and below are the steps on how to do it. So you will need the following materials to start with:

  • A stiff brush on a pole so that you can scrub stained or dirty areas before applying the sealant.
  • A 2500-3000 psi pressure washer for cleaning the deck after the stains have been scrubbed with the brush. You can rent this.
  • A container of Trisodium Phosphate for cleaning the deck
  • A pole with a paint roller on it, a five-gallon bucket and a paint screen
  • A good quality pool deck sealant

Next you prepare the pool deck by removing any planters, pool furniture or other items which would be in the way. Patch any cracks in the deck and remove any flaking that’s apparent also. The next steps are the following then:

  • Make sure you pressure wash the entire deck thoroughly and evenly. Get all the corners and hidden spots.
  • Next scrub the entire deck with 1 pound of Trisodium Phosphate added to 5 gallons of water in the bucket.
  • Then pressure wash the entire deck once again to remove all the Trisodium Phosphate residue.

When preparing to actually seal the deck, it should be dry with no rain in the immediate forecast. If the deck is wet, this interferes with the penetration of the sealant. This is because a sealant penetrates deep into a deck, not like paint, which is why the deck needs to be thoroughly dry. Now when the deck is dry as in 2 days dry; and rain is not forecast, then you can seal the deck. To do this saturate the roller with the sealer and roll it across the deck with overlapping strokes so that you can see a visible coating.  Work on each section individually, wait 5-10 minutes and then apply a second coat. It will dry in about 1-2 hours to touch, but wait a day for use.

By resealing your pool deck every 3-4 years, you will keep in new looking.

Keeping Your Pool Toys Safe

19773831_sPool toys can add to your summer swimming fun. Whether it’s floating on a raft in your swimming pool or watching your kids playing “battle of the noodle,” a fun time can be had by everyone. But something to keep in mind is that your pool toys need regular inspecting and cleaning too so they are safe to use.

Inspecting your pool toys
The first thing you want to do is to inspect each and every pool toy for signs of wear. So make sure that the plugs on the inflatable toys can be fastened securely, and there aren’t any holes ready to happen or happening already. Now you could patch any holes, but sometimes it’s better to replace the toy just to be on the safe side. So if you have any concern about a pool toy, it’s better to just toss it in the trash and replace it rather than having an accident happen.

Cleaning your pool toys
The chlorine in your pool usually does a good job of keeping the pool toys clean if you are up on your pool maintenance. However; sometimes the toys may still get a slippery slimy feeling to the touch. The slippery slimy sensation is usually caused by some type of mold or algae. When the toys are dirty and your family members play with them all the time, the bacteria can cause an earache; or lung or skin infection. So the toys need to be cleaned regularly.

The easiest ways to clean the pool toys is with a solution of water and bleach. Also when you are getting ready to clean the toys with this solution, wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear. It’s not a bad idea either to wear protective eyewear when you make the solution. Now to make the solution, put a gallon of water in a bucket and add 16 ounces of household bleach. To clean, take a scrub brush then, dip it in the bucket and scrub the offending toy until clean. The best place to do this procedure in on concrete or on a gravel surface because the bleach solution will kill the grass. Rinse everything with a garden hose thoroughly when done scrubbing including cleaning utensils.

Always keep in mind that clean inspected pool toys are safe pool toys.

Finding a Leak in an Above Ground Pool

21377318_sYou go outside to take a dip in the swimming pool and notice the water level has dropped overnight 2 inches lower than yesterday. You haven’t had anyone splashing around either, and it hasn’t been that hot, so a possible pool leak crosses your mind. So where do you start to find a leak that you really can’t see because there is no obvious puncture?

Pools plumbing system
The pool plumbing system can be the most common area for a leak in your swimming pool. So by testing the piping into your pool you can see if this is where the leak is coming from. To do this you can pressurize the pipe by putting the pressure up to 20 psi after blocking off the end of the pipe. If you see any leaks, mark where you see them. If it’s leaking at the joint, then take some Teflon tape and put it around the threads of the leaking pipe to seal it. If there’s a crack in the pipe or if it’s corroded though, then that section will need replaced.

Leak in the liner
First thing to do is to walk around the outside of the pool to see if any soil is wet on the outside of the pool. Wet soil is a good indicator of where a leak is. If nothing is showing, then get inside the pool. Check the liner for holes or cracks. You don’t have to drain the pool to do this; simply get as close to the liner as you can and feel for bumps, cracks or holes. Now when you find the leak, squirt food color in the water near the suspected leak. If the leak is in that location, then the food color will disappear into the crack or hole. By using an underwater patch kit, you can repair your leak too. Luckily, a liner in an above ground pool can last up to ten years if it’s taken care of properly.

To close, plumbing can be tricky. If you are unsure, get an expert.

The Best Pool Cover for Your Pool

family-poolWhen deciding which pool cover’s best for your pool, what do you consider? Well you want something to keep the weather out, the leaves and debris out and a cover which doesn’t retain too much water. So to help you select, below are three types of pool covers and the pros and cons:

  • The standard pool cover within the $75-$225 range: This cover will keep out sunlight as well as debris, but it’s only made from a tarp like material. To use this, the pool is simply covered and then the cover is held in place with filled water bottles or something similar. It doesn’t hold much rain weight though and needs to have water pumped off of it throughout the off season.
  • The security cover with in the $1200-$3000 range: This cover resembles a trampoline and is held on with spring-loaded straps. The straps are connected to the cover and then the straps are anchored into concrete to hold the cover securely in place. One type of cover here is made of mesh which keeps leaves and debris out. Plus; it will support a heavier weight load, and it doesn’t need a pump to remove the excess collected water because it passes through. However; the water will be murky in the spring and need treatment. This cover can last between 10 and 15 years.

Another type of security cover is made from vinyl and doesn’t allow water to pass through it. It does make opening the pool easier in the spring, but it does require a cover pump to remove any excess water from the weather. Solid covers don’t last as long as the mesh do either.

  • The automatic cover within the $500-$1500 range: The broad range in price is because this type of cover comes in many different forms. They do keep unwanted swimmers out of your pool, and they make great solar covers. One problem with these covers though is that the vinyl wears out in about 5 years and the replacement cost can be pretty expensive. Another problem is that they can overheat the pool causing algae. Also, these type of covers can break down .

In the end the best cover is really what your specific needs are.

The Advantages of an Indoor Swimming Pool

Most people own a pool that is outside, but some people enjoy the advantages of an indoor pool. You even may consider owning an indoor swimming pool yourself even you think only people who own mansions have one.  Why would people want an indoor swimming pool in their homes?

Advantages of an indoor pool

There are many advantages to owning an indoor pool. The one that comes to mind first is being able to go swimming anytime and during any season you want. Year around then you can go swimming after exercising, or you can use the pool as exercise itself as a cardio workout. If you don’t enjoy sharing a pool with crowds or onlookers, then an indoor pool would be perfect for you too. No crowds and complete privacy; your neighbors wouldn’t even see you. Too, many people who have various medical problems find relief in swimming especially if the pool is heated so indoor makes sense here. Another point for indoor pools is that there isn’t any winterizing needed since the pool is inside. Plus maintenance on an indoor pool is not as frequent since there isn’t any dust or debris falling in it, which means the pool won’t need cleaned as often.

Disadvantages of an indoor pool

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to indoor pools as well. An indoor pool can be pretty expensive. You will need to have a place to put it so you may need to build an addition onto your house to put the pool in. Also, with the water pumps, extra lighting, the water heating system and any other pool devices that you install, your electric bill will climb considerably too. Your water bill will go up also because of having to keep the pool filled year round instead of just seasonally.

Another option though to an indoor pool is to buy an aboveground pool for inside your home.  All you have to do then is build the room to put it in around the pool and have the pool installed by professionals so there aren’t any problems down the road.

So as you can see, having an indoor pool is actually a viable option for anyone who can afford one.