Protecting Your Pet and Swimming Pool

When it comes to protecting your pet and swimming pool, there are many factors that can affect the water. The sanitation of your swimming pool can be easily affected, your pet can bring up several maintenance issues. The average dog brings in the same amount of contaminants as three humans. Dirt, body oil, Insects and so much more can be introduced to your swimming pool. In addition to this, your swimming pool may potentially transmit E Coli, Hepatitis A and Giardia to swimmers. With the increase of external particles, your pool’s ph levels will rise and FAC (free available chlorine) will be less available to combat bacteria. Although outbreaks rarely come from residential homes, bacteria can become extremely contagious once waterborne. Your pets are not the only risk to your swimming pool’s sanitation. Other swimmers and non disinfected water supplies can contaminate your swimming pool as well.

Most swimming pools are closed systems were the same water is filtered and when more bacteria are introduced, this increases the risk of disease. Large cartridge filters can prove to be an efficient and effective way of keeping your swimming pool maintained. If you ultimately decide to let your dog swim, make sure to rinse them after doing so as they can get the same skin irritations we get. Also ensure that your swimming pool is properly sanitized as your pet can get eye irritations from the lack of FAC in your pool as well. Take into consideration that your dog sheds enough hair when it is not in the pool. Choose the right filter as this is where most of the hair will either be properly disposed of or back washed. If you can keep your pets out of your swimming pool you will find it much easier to maintain.

I know if your dogs are like mine they will always want to jump in and swim with you. Sometimes a little extra work to keep your pool clean is worth it as my dogs and probably yours are part of the family.

Vinyl? Concrete? Fiberglass?

An inground swimming pool can instantly make any backyard more aesthetically pleasing. For those interested in purchasing an inground swimming pool, soon-to-be pool owners can choose from a selection of three types: vinyl, concrete, and fiberglass. Depending on your location, prices for each kind of inground swimming pool vary though. When it comes to choosing the right inground swimming pool for your backyard it’s best to get professional advice from your local swimming pool store.

The cheapest inground swimming pool available, vinyl pools can be purchased in several pre-manufactured shapes. They also require less labor than a concrete pool and customizable options exists, including vinyl liners that come in several colors or patterns. Construction can be done in a shorter amount of time because of the pre-fabricated materials as well with 3 weeks usually being the norm.

Concrete or gunite pools offer more flexibility when it comes to the design of your inground swimming pool. The adaptable nature of concrete pools, makes it possible for pool owners to fit them in irregular places. With the ability to be the most customizable pool comes the downside of an expensive and lengthy construction estimated at about 12 weeks. In addition to this the surface can discolor, attract algae and prove to be uncomfortable.

Lastly, fiberglass pools are the fastest to install as they arrive in one pre-finished piece. Construction can last from 1 to 3 weeks. Their smooth surface is a benefit in itself, as it makes it harder for algae to stick to and easier for you took maintain your inground swimming pool with less chemicals. Negatives for fiberglass pools are that it cost a lot and extreme weather conditions can cause shifting in the ground.

Spa and Hot Tub Maintenance

Spa and Hot Tub Maintenance is very important from removing dirt to replacing spa water or cleaning out the filter, knowing the basic steps to maintaining your spa is key. Using a mild non-abrasive cleaner and soft rag is an effective combination when it comes to cleaning your spa. Baking soda can also help clean small spots. Vinyl covers also need maintenance as well and this can be done with a hose and some mild soap or baking soda solution. Remember to always shower without soap before soaking in your hot tub, to prevent residue like detergent from entering your spa. Routine light cleaning each month is an effective means of managing your spa’s maintenance.

Cleaning the filter cartridges can help calcification and its tendency to clog up filtration systems. Make sure to use a hose to spray each cartridge to cleanse it of any debris and use a filter cleaner afterwards. It is good practice to get a replacement filter every three years as well. Overtime debris, dirt and residue will eventually build up and any kind of spa cleaning will keep the water clean for so long. Drain and refill the hot tub to keep your spa water fresh, but do so following the spa’s owners manual and its instructions.

The Many Shades of Algae

Algae’s rapid growth rate can be explained through the symbiotic relationship it shares with most bacteria. Bacteria in swimming pools require oxygen to create carbon dioxide. Unfortunately for pool owners, algae can use carbon dioxide to produce the oxygen bacteria requires and perpetuate an endless cycle of blooming. Wind and rain can introduce the unsightly plant life into your swimming pool, but spotting the early sign of an algae outbreak will mean less headaches in the future. About 30,000 varieties of algae exist, but this hefty count can be simplified into three categories of swimming pool algae.

Green algae is the fastest growing and it usually floats, but can stick to walls. A hazy tint to the water and slippery feel on the sides of the pool, are just some of the early warning signs that green algae is tainting your swimming pool’s water. Mustard or yellow algae is a more serious problem, as a few days of careless maintenance will afford the algae enough time to become chlorine resistant. It tends to grow in the shaded areas of your pool, forming a deposit of the powdery substance. If you happen to find 1 to 3 centimeter dark blue-green spots on your pool, black algae is the culprit. This variation forms layers in which chlorine may be able to penetrate the outer or first layer, but not the numerous ones protected underneath it. Black algae’s growth takes more time than the other two, but it is the most difficult one to treat a swimming pool from, as it extremely chlorine resistant.

Preparing Your Pool for Summer

Without the proper knowledge on how to open a pool for the summer, you risk the health of both swimmers and your pool. Ensure that your pool is both properly operable and chemically safe. Never empty your pool even if you live in a cold climate, unless your pool hasn’t been covered and there are too many leaves under the swimming pool. Draining can bring up problematic situations, in which an empty pool won’t have the water necessary to hold down and prevent the pool from lifting. Not being cautious will make a complete pool replacement both necessary and costly.

While your cleaning up the baskets and starting up the filtration system, keep the cover on. Before running the filter, you may need to cleanse it and reassemble it. If your pool has a sand filter, backwash it and then leave it on the normal setting. Remove the cartridge filter as well and use a hose to rinse it. Taking a water sample to your local swimming pool store, will provide you with professional advice on what adjustments are needed in your alkalinity, pH, and chlorine levels. Cleaning the filter is a daily task that has to be done, until the water is no longer cloudy and you can see the bottom floor of the swimming pool. After clearing up the water with the recommended amount of chlorine, you can remove the cover and have the pool vacuumed for any left over debris.

Choosing the Right Pool Cleaner

Pool cleaners are essentially vacuum cleaners that provide convenience to swimming pool owners and remove debris potentially harmful to a pool’s sanitation with ease. Hand operated pool cleaners exist, but can laborious and time consuming.

Three types of this automated maintenance equipment exist and they are known as suction-side, pressure-side and electric robotic pool cleaner. Suction side is the least expensive and most popular, but cleans through a random course or path. Power is provided by the pool’s pump and debris cleanup is done through the pool’s filter system. Energy-wise, this kind of pool cleaner is the least cost effective and your pool’s filter system will need more servicing.

When it comes to pressure-side pool cleaners, a secondary booster creates highly pressurized water. This turbulence cleans up the walls and floor of a pool, ultimately distributing debris into the surface and then the pool’s main filter. Like a suction-side pool cleaner, pressure-side equipment requires use of a pool’s maintenance systems, but it has the highest electrical usage among the three types of pool cleaners.

Lastly, Electric robotic cleaners operate independently of a swimming pool’s filter and pump. Powered by another electrical source, electric robotic pool cleaners have two motors that allow debris to be captured and filtered water to be returned. Paint-roller like brushes remove particles from the pool’s surfaces and allows contamination-prone materials to be stored in a filter bag. Electrical robotic pool cleaners can also climb walls and reverse their direction, thanks to an internal microchip and some programming. Electric robotic pool cleaners are the most efficient of the three, but involve a large investment or upfront cost at first.

Booster Free Pool Cleaning

Functional without a booster pump, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 is representative of true energy efficiency. All-wheel drive and a triple jet system make the Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 a multifaceted pool cleaner that can sweep, scrub and vacuum every inch of your in-ground swimming pool. With the Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 pool cleaner , large objects such as leaves, pebbles and other debris will no longer contaminate the sanitation of your pool. Without the proper equipment and pool cleaner you risk shortening the lifespan of your pool’s filtration system and diminishing it’s capabilities as well. As for dark bottom pools, a Black Max Model is available.