Aqueous Pools Inc.

Posts Tagged ‘acton pool service’

Springing into Pool Season

Posted on: March 19th, 2013 by Dave No Comments

Recently, temperatures in the Antelope Valley finally hit the 80s although this week the temperature is trickling back down into the 70s. While it may not quite be time for a big splash, it’s just around the corner.

That means getting your pool in shape (while you get yourself in shape to fit into that swim suit or those swim trunks!).

As soon as that temperature does change, you will want to be ready, so here are some tips on getting your swimming pool up and running again after the harsh winter that is hopefully behind us.

Clean-Up

  • Your first step is to get the swimming pool cleaned up if you haven’t continued to use a professional pool cleaning service all winter. Whether you have kept it covered or the pool surface has been exposed to the elements, it is time to give the swimming pool a good clean, including skimming the surface, vacuuming the bottom and side walls, and scrubbing the tile.
  • Don’t forget to do a filter clean or ask your pool professional to do it for you! This will make it easier to enjoy clean, filtered water as well as cut down on the time it takes to clean the pool each week.
  • Spring is very windy in Palmdale, Lancaster, and Acton, so you will need to keep at the leaves and debris that often finds its way into your swimming pool.
  • The area around your swimming pool should also get a good clean, including vacuuming out debris in the concrete crevices and cleaning out leaves and debris around the equipment area. Don’t forget to get rid of all those cobwebs, too!
  • Any patio furniture and barbecues should also be wiped down. After all, this is all part of enjoying your backyard oasis for the spring and summer seasons.

Spruce-Up

  • This is the time of the year where you might think about any upgrades to your swimming pool, including grab rails, slide, water feature, new lights or anything else that makes it more personalized that didn’t fit in your budget when you originally had it built.
  • It may also be time to spruce up the swimming pool treasure chest of water toys and gadgets for the pool. This could mean getting rid of those water toys that the kids have outgrown and upgrading to some super cool water launchers or underwater games to a floatable card table and chairs for the weekly poker game with the guys to a new lounge chair with drink holder for mom.
  • You might also think about an outdoor sound system to enjoy music or even a new outdoor kitchen and entertainment pagoda if you want to kick the party season into high gear.

Check-Up

  • Before something breaks down during those critical weeks and months where a cool pool is a must to beat the heat, it’s time to do an equipment check. Look at worn parts or the general condition of all your equipment.
  • If anything looks like it needs to be replaced, then this would be the time to do it. Also, if you did not have an energy-efficient pump or heater, you may want to upgrade. There may still be some rebates available for making your pool equipment more energy efficient.

Top-Up

  • This is the time of year to ensure the chemicals are now equalized and ready to go for warmer weather. Think about topping up anything that is not in balance with the water chemistry. Also, pool professionals typically add conditioner to the water at this time of year to compensate for the necessary change in chemicals as the seasons change.
  • If you don’t have an auto-fill valve that brings your water up to its proper level, you may need to manually add water to the pool. If it’s been three to five years, this may actually be the best time to empty the pool and refill it with new water. This is important to do on a regular basis to keep the water chemistry balance.

Other Tips

  • Other things to consider to spring into pool action would be to invest in solar heating for your pool and spa. While the upfront cost is significant, it offers a fairly fast return on investment. And, you will love not getting electric bills that put you at risk for a heart attack.
  • For a lower budget investment to get your water warm, purchase a solar blanket from your pool professional. It takes the chill off the water and even keeps most of the debris out.
  • Make sure you are using an automatic pool cleaner to keep it free of bugs and debris so you can start swimming every day.
  • Check on your safety and security measures so that all kids and visitors are not at risk of drowning. This means safety fencing, safety alarms, and door alarms as well as a floatation device nearby.

Call Us!

We’re here to get your swimming pool up and running for the season. Contact us today at 661.400.7624 or dave@aqueouspools.com.

Protecting Your Swimming Pool’s Equipment during the Brutally Cold Months

Posted on: January 22nd, 2013 by Dave No Comments

Earlier this month, I talked about how to protect your swimming pool from the cold – and by cold, I mean below freezing, hard frosts, and bone-chilling weather.

In this blog post, however, I am going to spend a bit of time talking about how to best protect your pool equipment from the weather. This includes your pool’s pipes as well as the mechanical side of your swimming pool like the heater and filter.

Finally, I am going to explain some simple ways to protect some of your swimming pool maintenance equipment that you may keep in hand to clean the swimming pool yourself or touch it up between professional pool service visits.

Keep the Weather from Costing You Money

Your swimming pool’s pipes, heater, pump and filter are all critical components of keeping your swimming pool looking good and staying clean. So, it’s a big deal if you don’ take care of them properly because there could be a big repair bill in the future you would prefer not to have.

I see it a lot over the winter months – the natural assumption that the swimming pool can be covered and forgotten about until the weather warms up. Nope! Owners may even turn their pool equipment off not realizing that it is vital the water keep moving through the pipes so that they don’t freeze, crack, and then burst.

Where the pipes are concerned, you need to first make sure your pipes are below the frost line in your area.

Second, on the nights that the temperature is going to drop below freezing, it is often best to leave the pool running. Running water tends to keep that water from freezing.

Another option is to turn your pool heater on as this will not only keep the pool water cozy and prevent freezing, but it will also protect your pipes and mechanical equipment like the heater and filter. You also may not then see ice bergs forming on the surface of your swimming pool or spa!

Don’t forget that a freeze protector can also serve to help with protecting your equipment by triggering the system to turn on every time the temperature plummets! It’s a worthwhile investment.

Even the smallest equipment needs attention in the cold months. Keep things like your pool vacuum head indoors or in a water tight container to help avoid exposure from the weather.

Put your pools and nets as well as they can become brittle and break after too much exposure to the cold. Do these things to protect the little things and save yourself some money because while this pool maintenance equipment is not as expensive as replacing a pump or broken pipes, it can still add up!

EWWW – The Gross Side of Swimming Pools

Posted on: August 22nd, 2012 by Dave No Comments

Scientific American recently published an article about how germs get into pools and just want a cesspool they can become when not cared for properly – and it’s not just commercial pools at hotels or apartment complexes where such a fun zone can become germ central.

I’ve seen it and even my other half who once cleaned pools on her own route witnessed the grossness that pools can become – thick ooze from algae run wild, frogs, dead birds, etc. not to mention human waste (TMI, right? But it’s true!).

The recent article covering the science of this grossness shed light on why swimming pools must be maintained – it’s not just a cringing, nervously laughing matter. Here’s what they had to say:

The protozoan organism Cryptosporidium, one of the most frequent causes of waterborne disease, has become a major problem in swimming pools, says Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona who’s spent decades studying how pathogens are transmitted. Crypto is a microscopic parasite with a tough outer shell that allows it to survive for days even in properly chlorinated pools.

The results are not pretty or healthy — prolonged bouts of diarrhea if swimmers drink contaminated water.

Here are some more gross facts from Scientific American that will have you think twice about just jumping in any old swimming pool you come across:

One of Gerba’s studies from a decade ago revealed that bathers naturally shed an estimated 0.14 gram of fecal matter during a swim. Another Gerba study indicated the average bather releases 50 milliliters of urine and a liter of sweat per hour into the water during a recreational swim.

But there is also not a lot you have to do to simply avoid such dirty water. Here are some tips:

  • If it’s your own swimming pool, check water quality each week, or, if is used a lot, a few times a week. Also, maintain chemical balance, clear out debris, and clean filter periodically.
  • If you are using other swimming pools, don’t add to the problem. Take kids out of the water frequently for bathroom breaks and diaper changes for the little ones.
  • If you are using another swimming pool and concerned, be sure to thoroughly wash yourself with soap and water prior to re-entering water and when you are done swimming.
  • Look for signs of trouble in the pool in terms of foamy water, not being able to see the bottom of the pool, or more obvious signs that I don’t need to say but you can figure out.

Be cautious and stay safe!

Hot Tub and In-Ground Spa Safety Tips

Posted on: May 31st, 2012 by Dave No Comments

While my own two children love the pool, they often asked when they can jump into the in-ground spa with the bubbles and heat.  They are now nine and six, and we still hesitate to let them due to the extreme heat and number of risks involved with children using hot tubs or in-ground spas. Besides taking care with your children around a spa, adults also have to consider the hazards.

Safety Tips with Children in Mind

Here are some safety tips to consider when you have an in-ground spa or even an above-ground hot tub:

  • Infants and those children under five should not be allowed to use a hot tub or spa at all. This is because they are at a high risk of overheating quickly or dehydrating.
  • Children should be limited to their time in the spa or hot tub to at most 20 minute increments, depending on the temperature. Here, it is best to use common sense and go with smaller time increments until you are sure they can withstand the temperature.
  • When children are using the spa or hot tub, consider lowering the temperature while they are using it.
  • Drowning is a serious risk with hot tubs. If you have a hot tub, consider a locking cover. Never leave children alone in a hot tub or spa even for a minute! Also consider the drain cover being used as many children have had their hair entangled and drowned. Try using a raised or dome-shaped drain cover. Also make sure you know where the cut-off switch is for the pump so it can be turned off quickly in case there is an emergency.

General Safety Tips for Adults

Here are some tips for adults to consider when using a hot tub or in-ground spa:

  • Be sure to regularly check the water chemistry just as you would do with a swimming pool to ensure the right water balance in terms of pH and Total Alkalinity. Because the temperature is usually very hot, it can be a soup of harmful microorganisms and bacteria before you know it if you don’t keep the water sanitized.
  • While it may seem pretty fun to enjoy a beer or glass of wine while relaxing in a spa, the hot water increases the effects of alcohol as well as more quickly dehydrate you. Stick to water or juice and save the beer or wine to enjoy once outside of the spa.
  • Keep track of the time you spend soaking up the hot water.  Even adults should limit their time to 15-20 increments in the hot water.  Also, consider using a floating thermometer to track the water temperature to make sure it is not getting to hot for your health.
  • If you have any health conditions, such as high or low blood pressure, diabetes, or problems with your heart, it is best to check with your doctor before using a hot tub or in-ground spa. And, if you are pregnant, a hot tub or spa is off-limits!
  • Adults also have to worry about drain suction and hair entanglements so the same recommendations on drain covers apply here.
  • Never use an electrical device while in the spa. While it may be common sense, you would be surprised what happens. That means no phones or smartphones, TVs, radios or remote controls.
  • Consider adding safety rails and steps as well as ensuring that there is a non-skid surface just outside of the spa or hot tub.

For more about these safety tips and others, be sure to check with the NSF about more consumer safety advice.

Summer’s Heating Up with Solar Heating Solutions for Your Swimming Pool

Posted on: May 23rd, 2012 by Dave No Comments

With the weather heating up, it might seem that the killer temps might have enough strength to heat that swimming pool to the right level, but those rays don’t necessarily reach all the way to the deep end nor do they make that in-ground spa work its magic on those sore muscles.

That’s when a pool heater could really do the trick – except for the fact that, by using it, you end up with an electric bill that could break the bank. It’s time to look to solar pool heaters for an economic solution that can keep your swimming pool and spa at just the right temperature while keeping a few dollars in your pocket – not to mention, you will be doing your part to help the environmental initiatives.

Solar Pool Heater Systems

Solar pool heater systems can provide a perfectly heated swimming pool and spa the whole year round without the utility bill that goes with it. Although there is a considerable investment that must be made upfront, the return on investment pays significant dividends because it relies on the free heat that comes from the sun. Although the pool pump must be running in order for the system to work, this is minimal, especially if you install an energy-efficient pool pump or solar pool pump.

The solar pool heater system works through solar panels that are usually placed on the roof. It is important to ensure the right size, number of panels, and placement to get the best possible performance from this system.

These pool heater systems can last between ten and twenty years and usually have a ten-year warranty on the solar panels. They are low maintenance and offer a smart alternative to regular pool heaters.

 

Solar Pool Blankets

Just like that toasty blanket you most likely wrap yourself up in on those chilly nights, a solar pool blanket covers the top of your pool and helps collect the warmth from those sun rays, radiating the heat into the water below the blanket. It can even raise the pool water temperature by 15 degrees.

Not only is this solution very cost effective, but it also provides a way to minimize heat loss by reducing evaporation and conduction as well as keep a lot of that debris out that seems to be around all year round thanks to the winds of the Antelope Valley!

These are available for aboveground and in-ground swimming pools and come in a wide variety of sizes. The solar blankets are easy to cut to fit to the size and shape of your pool. Plus, they can easily be installed and removed as needed. These blankets can also be placed on a reel for even more convenient use.

A solar pool blanket will pay for itself quickly and provide you many enjoyable days and nights in the swimming pool because there are no utility costs to re-coop. Just remember though that it may not necessarily provide the heat that you would need to get that in-ground spa hot like you like it! So, there is still the need to have a gas pool heater, a heat pump pool heater, or that solar pool heater I mentioned above.

We’re Here to Set the Pool Temp

Whatever you decide, our professional pool techs can install it and get you set up with just the right temperature for your swimming pool and spa enjoyment!