- 5 Easy Tips to Take Care of Your Pool
- Our 8 Best Auto Cover Tips
- Five Easy Tips for Automatic Cleaners
- Pros and Cons of Gas Pool Heaters and Electric Pool Heat Pumps
- Being Safe Around the Pool
5 Easy Tips To Take Care of Your Pool
1. Test the water. We offer free water testing in all six of our stores, all day, every day! Most of our customers bring their water to us to test about twice a month, or as often as they like. We also recommend testing the water at home twice a week for pH level and free chlorine (the oxidizer and sanitizer). This can be done easily with test strips or reagents and a test vial.
2. Super Shock with Sanygen Liquid Chlorine. We recommend shocking at least once a week with most sanitation systems. SANYGEN LIQUID SHOCK contains a 12.5% concentration of chlorine which provides efficiency while offering greater stability. SANYGEN LIQUID SHOCK kills germs and algae as it oxidizes impurities by destroying organic contamination. Sanygen is specially designed for use in swimming pools because all impurities, minerals and other contaminants are removed during the manufacturing process. Sanygen liquid chlorine is the least expensive and most effective way to take care of your pool.
Did you know? Liquid chlorine has a 90 day half life, meaning it is half as strong in 90 days as the day it was manufactured. Our stores each get two deliveries of Sanygen chlorine weekly, which is why our chlorine is STRONG and FRESH!
3. Use a Fresh Mineral Water Cartridge & Cycler. Having an automated system with an alternative sanitizer is an easy way to have a cleaner pool, a maintenance free summer, and use fewer chemicals. Our Fresh Mineral Water FROG system destroys bacteria two easy ways with minerals and low levels of chlorine for an ultra-clean pool.
4. Use a Robotic Cleaner by Aqua Products. Most pool owners nowadays have an automatic cleaner to help clean their pool. Our robotic cleaners by Maytronics are some of the most powerful cleaners available, with multiple models available to fit your pool and budget needs. They clean the floors, walls and waterline in as little as 2-3 hours, using turbo drive motors and power washing jets. Note: Automatic cleaners are designed to help keep a clean pool clean, and will cover 90% of the pool.
5. Circulation and Filtration. We recommend running the pump 24 hours a day for optimal circulation. While there are several effective pool filters on the market, we recommend sand filters filled with glass filtration media, rather than sand. Glass filters provide comparable filtration to diatomaceous earth (DE) filters, but with far less work required of the homeowner. Filters with glass media require less frequent backwashing, so you save money by preserving the pool water you’ve treated with chemicals and heated. The result is sparkling pool water! If you need help deciding which filter is right for you, give us a call or stop by one of our stores and we’ll give you all the information you need to help make the best choice for your pool.
Our 8 Best Auto Cover Tips:
1. Remove any leaves with a leaf blower before opening, if the cover is dry.
2. Leave the submersible pump on the cover most of the time, especially if rain is forecasted or frequent.
3. Pump any water off the cover with your submersible pump, if the cover is wet. This lessens the strain on the cover motor.
4. Ease the cover slowly into the box when opening, and gently to the end of the pool when closing. Do not “slam” the cover at either end.
5. Be aware of the pool’s water level. The water supports the pool cover, so if for any reason the water falls below normal depth (below the water line markings on the skimmer), please call us.
6. It is OK to use an extension cord with your auto cover (submersible) pump.
7. To clean the cover, use our All Seasons Cover Cleaner. Simply wet the cover, spread the cleaner (it’s liquid), brush with your wall brush and pole, then rinse with garden hose and fresh water, while you gradually open the cover, as the cover pump pumps off the dirty water and cleaner.
8. Do not walk on the cover or aluminum cover box. While the cover is rated for safety to hold weight, you can help extend the life and integrity of the cover by not purposefully walking on it.
Five Easy Tips for Automatic Cleaners
1. Automatic cleaners are designed to keep a clean pool clean. If your pool is dirty or still has debris from spring, the cleaner cannot grip the walls or hold enough heavy debris. Scoop the leaves out (14 year old kids are good for this job) and add Sanygen Liquid Shock to your pool, then put the cleaner in when the pool is in better shape.
2. Get your cleaner tuned up annually, as recommended by Dolphin, our manufacturer. Change belts and tracks to maintain good performance. Simply bring it in and let our pros tune it up. Turn around time is usually 2 weeks in season.
3. Wash your microfiber filter bag in your washing machine (if using an AquaBot). Rinse it well outside in your yard first. Run it through your wash on a short cycle with cold water and one cup of Clorox bleach (which is meant for washing machines and not swimming pools). No need to dry. It will perform better when you wash it monthly. Better yet, have an extra bag or two on hand.
4. Use only factory authorized parts and filter bags from Knickerbocker Pools. We’ve seen after market parts and bags that do not fit properly, and they allow sticks and debris into the unit, which can damage the motor and other parts, and cause costly repairs.
5. Remove the pool cleaner from the pool before pouring in your Sanygen liquid chlorine. Sanygen liquid chlorine is highly effective for sanitizing swimming pools, but is not so good for extending the life of your cleaner.
Pros and Cons of Gas Pool Heaters and Electric Pool Heat Pumps
The advantages of a gas heater are:
1) they are the fastest way to heat your pool and
2) they have an affordable up front cost.
The disadvantages of a gas heater vs. an electrical heat pump are:
1) higher operating cost than an electric heat pump and
2) you will need to hire a certified gas plumber to hook up the gas line. (Homeowner is required to hire a certified electrician to wire the unit with both a gas heater or electronic heat pump.)
- Pentair’s Master Temp heater is convertible for either natural gas or propane.
- Warranty: 2 years parts and labor.
Advantages of an electric heat pump:
1) Most efficient and least expensive way to heat (besides solar) and
2) Very eco-friendly.
Disadvantages of an electric heat pump (compared to a gas heater):
1) higher up-front cost
2) doesn’t heat as quickly
3) doesn’t heat when ambient air temp is 55 degrees or below.
- Heat pumps have a 5-year payback period, meaning that at year 5, you will break even with a gas heater, as to initial cost and operating costs, but then it will cost less for the remaining 5 years of life.
- Homeowner is required to hire an electrician to wire unit.
- Pentair’s Ultra Temp Heat Pump has a 2 – year parts and labor warranty.
If this is your first heater, we will lay patio block to set the heater on, and plumb heater into pump/filter system prior to electrical work. If this is a replacement heater, we will haul away and dispose of your old heater.
Here is some of the pool industry’s best advice for being safe around the pool
Parental Supervision Keep your eyes on the kids! Don’t leave them unattended in or around the pool, even for a second, without adult supervision.
Automatic Safety Covers Automatic covers, also known as safety covers, provide a horizontal barrier for your pool under lock and key, making them one of the best ways to keep your pool secure.
Anchored Mesh Safety Covers These can be added to most inground pools at any time, and can be used year round for security. “We used to put our mesh safety cover on the pool in the summer when the kids were little, anytime we had a babysitter at our house.”
Fences Another deterrent is a good fence, with gate and lock. Fences are traditionally the best vertical barrier.
No Diving in Shallow Water Head first diving is intended only for inground pools with deep ends. Safe diving water depth for residential pools is 8′.
Don’t Allow Shenanigans If you see something, say something. It’s okay to sound like your mother when safety is involved! Don’t let the soccer goalie on your team do gainers in your pool, if it looks like they might get hurt.
Slide in Feet First Slides that are designed for inground pools are intended to be used feet first for safety. Only install slides that are designed for swimming pool use.
Make Sure your Pool is Clear “When is the pool safe to swim? When you can see the bottom.” Period.
Drink responsibly This goes without saying but is always worth repeating. Pepsi, anyone?