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Pollen Season is around the corner!

Is Pollen in Your Pool?

Pollen can be identified as such:

  1. Pollen tends to stick to the pool tile at the waterline
  2. Pollen will also stick to the inside of your skimmer
  3. Pollen on the surface is easily wind blown into a corner

What’s Wrong With Pollen?

Besides the allergy issues, pollen in the pool can upset your pool water chemistry and clog up filtration systems.

  • Accumulates inside of skimmer walls and along tile line
  • Oily pollen particles clog tiny pores in pool filter media
  • Can mix with dirt to form ugly water line scum and stains
  • Pollen contains phosphates, bacteria and other organics

Removing Pollen from Your Pool

Eventually the pollen will filter out on its own, but if you want to speed the process along, there are ways to remove pollen from a pool very quickly.

7-ways to Remove Pollen from Pools

  1. Natural Chemistry First Aid; a blend of classifiers and enzymes
  2. The Slime Bag; heavy fabric filter bag attaches to pool wall return
  3. The Skim Bag; heavy fabric filter bag drops into skimmer basket
  4. Filter Savers; fine mesh socks stretch over skimmer or pump baskets
  5. Jack’s Magic Fiber Filter Stuff as a filter aid to improve performance

 

Some Reference: intheswim

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Make A Skimming and Scrubbing A Part Of Life

Skimming the leaves and debris off of the surface of the water is a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. For a truly pristine pool, skimming should be done daily.

If you have a bit of money to spend, consider buying a robot vacuum that will clean the bottom of the pool for you.

In addition to skimming, you need to scrub the sides of the pool to prevent algae build-up. Thankfully, that doesn’t need to be done quite as often. You can get away with scrubbing once every other week. Just look for any growths and go at them with a scrub brush to keep your siding looking fresh and clean.

For those particularly stubborn spots that won’t go away with any amount of elbow grease? Repurpose an old sock. Fill it with chlorine and let it sit on top of the spot for a few hours before scrubbing once more. The chlorine will eat away at the algae and you’ll finally have a use for those socks without pairs. It’s a win-win.

How to Test Pool Water Accurately

It’s important to learn how to test pool water, and do it at least once a week to make sure the pH and alkalinity are balanced, and to keep your sanitizer level in check (i.e. chlorine at 3 ppm).

What most pool owners don’t know, however, is there’s a right and wrong way to test your water, no matter what type of testing you’re doing. It all starts with the water sample.

You can watch a full video on how to test pool water, or read below (or both).

 

The Water Sample

There are 3 ways to test pool water:

  • Liquid test kit
  • Test strips
  • Taking your sample to a local pool store to have it professionally checked.

To take a proper water sample, use a clean cup or bottle (with cap if you’re taking it to the pool store) and hold it upside down so that the opening is facing the floor. Insert into the water elbow-deep and turn it right side up to collect the sample. Do not take the sample near any return jets or skimmer opening. If possible, take the sample from the absolute middle of your pool.

Now you can take this sample to your pool store or check it yourself.

Using Test Strips

For home testing, this is my personal favorite. It’s easy to do and very accurate – much more accurate than using a liquid test kit because of human error when it comes to matching up the colors and using chemical droplets.

Take your water sample and quickly dip one, dry strip into the water. Hold it still in the air for about 15 seconds (do not shake off the excess water). Then match up the colors of the strip to the back of the bottle to get your readings.

There are all different kinds of test strips you can buy that check for all sorts of things, but you really only need to check for pH, alkalinity and free chlorine.

Use test strips at least once a week. I like to check my water every other day. And bring a sample to your local pool store once a month to have it professionally checked – also when opening and closing your pool.

Using a Liquid Test Kit

There are very advanced liquid test kits, but for home use, just stick with pH and chlorine or phenol red and OTO. Phenol red is a red chemical you add to a small sample of water to check the pH. The redder the water, the higher the pH.

OTO is the chemical that tests for total chlorine. It’s a yellow liquid you add to your sample. The more yellow, the more chlorine.

With a liquid test kit, it’s hard to see the low end of the colors. Make sure you use a white background to examine the colors to be accurate.

Happy Swimming!

 

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Tips to Remove Wrinkles From a Pool Liner

There is nothing quite like the soft and slick feeling of a pool liner on your feet while you swim. However, sometimes those liners can become wrinkled. If that happens, what are you to do?

Dealing with pool liner wrinkles is just part of owning a pool with a liner, so you need to be prepared to deal with them when they happen. There are many ways you can remove wrinkles from a pool liner that are relatively easy for you to do yourself, although it will take a little bit of work.

Tips to Remove Liner Wrinkles

If you have noticed wrinkles in the liner of your pool, then the time has come to act. Don’t allow those wrinkles to sit there for too long. The longer they are allowed to exist, the tougher it will be to get rid of them. Try the following tips to remove wrinkles from a pool liner so your feet don’t have to touch those ugly wrinkles whenever you go for a swim.

Tip 1 – Fill Your Pool

Sometimes wrinkles can form after the pool has sat for an extended period of time. If your pool water is low or you need to replace the water after it has sat there for a while, then try filling your pool with fresh water and slowly working the wrinkles out as you fill the pool.

Tip 2 – Start Walking

One of the easiest ways you can get rid of at least some of those wrinkles is by putting on some soft soled shoes and walking across the wrinkles gently stretching then from one side or another as you go. This will often take care of most minor wrinkles without you having to do anything else, but some wrinkles may be tougher to remove.

Tip 3 – Grab a Plunger

Believe it or not, a toilet plunger is a great tool for pulling out those wrinkles in your pool. Place the plunger on either side of the wrinkle and then plunge. This will pull the liner each way removing that wrinkle once and for all. Just make sure you use a clean, unused plunger for the task. After all, who wants to swim in water that has had your nasty toilet plunger in it?

Tip 4 – Warm up the Pool

Liners often develop wrinkles in colder water. These colder temperatures cause the liner to harden forcing it to wrinkle. Before you try anything, you may want to consider trying to heat the water up to 92 degrees Fahrenheit so the liner softens. You can then work out the wrinkles with a pool brush, your feet and even the plunger solution we talked about above.

Tip 5 – Drain the Water

Sometimes, the wrinkles may be so bad that you have no choice but to completely drain the pool. Once all the water is gone, you can then take a shop vac and use it to suck out those wrinkles one by one. When you do this, make sure that the liner remains wet at all times and be sure you vacuum between the frame and the liner instead of directly on the liner as the shop vac could damage the liner.

Tip 6 – Check Your Landscape

Double check your landscape to see if any trees, bushes or shrubs are directing water where it shouldn’t be or even extending into your pool area. If you have noticed any shifting of the ground, you will need to take the proper steps to shore up the ground so it doesn’t continue to shift. Once this is done, you can get rid of those wrinkles and they shouldn’t return.

Tip 7 – Watch for Leaks

One of the most dangerous causes of wrinkles can be small water leaks. These leaks allow water to get underneath the liner forcing it up in places. When this happens, you will need to locate the leak quickly and you may even have to drain the pool to patch it properly before you can start pulling out those unsightly wrinkles.

Tip 8 – Blow Out the Liner

If all else fails, you can try draining your pool and then blowing out the liner itself. Using a shop vac in reverse, place the hose between the liner and the frame and turn it on. This will push air between the liner and frame and push those wrinkles right out of the liner. Once they have come out, reverse the suction again and pull out the excess air that you have pushed under your liner.

Tip 9 – Call in the Pros

No matter how much or how hard you work on your pool liner, sometimes you have to call in the professionals. Draining your pool regularly to try and fix wrinkles can put the structure of your pool in danger, not to mention cost you an arm and a leg in water bills. If you have tried everything and you still have wrinkles in your pool, then you may want to call for backup.

Tip 10 – Replace the Liner

I have to admit, sometimes you simply won’t be able to get those wrinkles out of your pool liner. Sometimes they are just there to stay and no amount of work will make any difference. If you have reached that point, then the time has come for you to replace that liner with a new one. Just make sure the new one is installed correctly so you don’t notice wrinkles forming in it soon after it has been installed.

Conclusion

Dealing with wrinkles is just part of owning a pool with a liner. These ten tips should help you remove those unsightly wrinkles so your pools liner is as smooth as it was the day it was installed. Remember, pool liner wrinkles look bad and feel even worse on your feet, and the longer they stay there the harder they will be to remove. So make sure you act fast.

By following these tips, you should be able to get rid of those wrinkles with just a little bit of hard work on your part. If you do run into problems, don’t be afraid to call in a professional to help you. In most cases, if you follow these tips you should be able to get rid of the wrinkles in your liner. Once they are gone, you can refill your pool and go back to enjoying a nice long swim to cool off in the warm weather.

Happy Swimming!

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