Swimming Pool FAQ

Wrinkling of Vinyl Pool Liner

Our vinyl manufacturer has invested a great deal of time and money into discovering the causes of and the prevention of wrinkling. Wrinkles that develop in swimming pool liners after installation are caused by the vinyl absorbing water and thereby changing dimensions. Testing has shown that high levels of chlorine or bromine will initiate excessive water absorption into the vinyl liner and lead to wrinkles. Low pH and cyanuric acid stabilizer are also factors in wrinkle formation because the activity level of the chlorine is affected by pH and stabilizer level.

Our experience has shown that the use of trichloroisocyanuric acid sanitizer (Trichlor) and low pH levels can cause wrinkling of your vinyl liner. Alkaline sanitizers (Hydochlorite) and non- chlorine sanitizer systems have been found to be safer to use with vinyl liners

Total Alkalinity

Alkalinity is a measurement of the alkaline materials dissolved in water. Alkalinity in the ideal range of 100 to 150ppm helps the pH to resist fluctuations. If the alkalinity is low it can cause a “pH bounce” causing the pH level to fluctuate in and out of the acceptable range.

Water Chemistry

Proper water balance is the single most important factor to maximizing the life and appearance of any swimming pool. The following table shows ranges for basic water chemistry.

Factor Range Test Frequency
pH 7.2-7.6 Daily
Free Chlorine 1.0-2.0 Daily
Total Alkalinity 80-120 ppm Weekly
Calcium Hardness 200-300 ppm Monthly
Stabilizer 35-60 ppm Monthly

Cloudy Water

Contaminants buildup: When swimmer wastes and other contaminants build up, the result is “combined chlorine”. Shock the pool!!!

Chemical residue: Using a calcium hypochlorite shock such as (*Shock *Sock-It *Shock-it *Burn Out *Break Out) can result in a residue build up and cloudy water. If the water looks like chalk or milk, it is usually the result of using a lot of calcium hypochlorite shock. To use this type of shock, especially in vinyl liner pools to prevent bleaching of the liner, you must:

  • Fill a bucket about 1/2 full of water
  • Add Shock – do not stir – let sit for a few minutes – pour only the liquid into the pool
  • Discard the residue
  • Do not try to dissolve the residue

Water Out of Balance: A high pH, high Total Alkaline or High Calcium Hardness will cause cloudy water. Test the water!!

Algae: Algae is a possible cause of cloudy water.

Poor Filtration: Is the filter system running a significant number of hours every day? During the swim season, the filter needs to run a minimum of 10 to 12 hours daily.

Pools with cloudy water or algae.

  • Adjust pH to 7.2-7.6
  • Add algaecide
  • Add shock
  • Add flocking agent
  • Run filter 1 hour – turn off & leave off overnight
  • Next day vacuum to waste

Metals: The presence of metals in the water such as iron (reddish-brown), copper (blue-green) or manganese (brown-red) can cause cloudy water. To remove the metals:

  • Add 1 quart flocking agent
  • Add 1 quart Majestic Blue
  • Run filter 1 hour; turn off overnight
  • Vacuum to waste
  • When pool is completely clear, add a stain & scale preventer to remove any stains

 

Metals

It is not uncommon to find metals, often called free metals, dissolved in pool water. Usually they come from source water, sometimes they come as a result of the erosion of metal pool fixtures, such as heater cores.

Free metals in pool water can cause staining of pool surfaces and inhibit the performance of water sanitizers. Ideally, there should be no metals in the water: 0 ppm. If metals are detected in your water you will need a sequestering agent to render them harmless.

Adding Water Balance Adjustment Chemicals

It is best to pre dissolve a water balance adjustment chemical in a plastic bucket of pool water. Then add to the deep end of the pool or in front of a return with the pump running.

  • pH Adjustment: Add recommended dosage, wait several hours and test water again.
  • Alkalinity: Add at the rate of 5 lbs or less; wait about 10 minutes between each 5 lbs.
  • Hardness: Add at the rate of 5 lbs. Or less; wait 30 minutes between each 5. If large amounts of calcium are needed, add over several days.
Low pH and High Alkalinity Adjust Alk first – Next Day pH
High pH Low Alkalinity Adjust pH first – Next Day Alk
Low pH and Low Alkalinity Adjust pH first – Next Day Alk
High pH High Alkalinity Adjust Alk first – Next Day pH

Chlorine Stabilizer (100% Cyanuric Acid)

Stabilizer acts as a sun shield to extend the life of chlorine up to 3 1/2 times. It actually holds the useful form of chlorine in the pool water until needed giving longer protection against bacteria and algae. It leaves no residue – 100% soluble. “Stabilized” chlorine products (sticks – tablets – chlorine powder) contain some cyanuric acid which helps to maintain the proper level throughout the season.

Algae

Mustard Algae – Common algae in pools appears yellow-brown or “mustard” colored. It brushes off the walls of the pools easily, but quickly returns. It often rows in shady areas with poor circulation. It resists chlorine and shock treatment.

Solution – Use an algaecide along with chlorine shock. Follow label directions. Place all vacuum equipment – hose, head, pole, brushes, etc. into pool during treatment Maintain a higher than normal chlorine reading for 4 to 5 days after treatment.

Green Algae – Green algae is one of the most common problems for pools. It usually appears in corners or other areas where circulation is poor. Once established, green algae can grow explosively.

Solution – Use Algaecide along with chlorine shock.. Follow label directions. It is also recommended to use a flocking agent, always vacuum to waste or drain (not backwash).

Black Algae – A very resistant form of algae that clings to the pool’s walls, floor, and cracks. The longer black algae are present, the longer it will take to get rid of it. Black algae can actually pit the mar cite finish in a gunite pool. Treat black algae as soon as it is detected. Black algae are usually found in gunite/concrete pools.

Solution – Brush algae spots vigorously with a stiff algae brush and pour algaecide along the sides where spots are visible. Run filter continuously for one hour, and then add chlorine shock to the pool. Turn off filter and leave off for several days.

Pool water composition always includes some undesirable elements that actually contaminate the water and reduce the efficiency of the disinfectant or sanitizer. Material such as hair spray, suntan oil, cosmetics, perspiration and other organic material react to combine with the chlorine in the water to form “combined chlorine”. Once “combined chlorine” forms, it acts as a very poor disinfectant, contributing to eye and skin irritations and the forming of unpleasant chlorine odor. Pools with this problem are often inaccurately accused of having too much chlorine.

Routine shock treatment is necessary to destroy combined chlorine compounds and restore the chlorine sanitizer to “free chlorine” efficiency. A pool can be shock treated by adding large doses of chlorine, commonly referred to as super chlorination, or by adding a non-chlorine shock.

No, you don’t have enough “free chlorine” in your pool. Most pools contain both good chlorine and bad chlorine. The good chlorine is called free chlorine and is capable of killing germs. Bad chlorine, on the other hand, is called “combined chlorine” and is a poor germ killer.

Too much combined chlorine in your pool causes the strong chlorine odor. When the combined chlorine level reaches 0.2 ppm or more, it is time to shock your water. Shocking will eliminate the odor.

Both treatments accomplish the goal of destroying and removing bather waste and preventing the formation of combined chlorine.

Super chlorination, the addition of large amounts of chlorine, has some drawbacks. Because it requires large amounts of chlorine, it can damage liners and swimsuits and upset water balance. Additionally, it is difficult to determine proper dosage amounts and it requires swimmers to wait until the level of chlorine drops, often a day or more, until they can swim.

Non-chlorine shock, on the other hand, does not require excessive chlorine use and allows swimming almost immediately after application, does not harm liners, has easily determined dosage rates and does not upset water balance.

Yes, an E.P.A. registered sanitizer should be added and maintained at proper levels at all times. Non-chlorine shock treatments contain no chlorine, therefore you must make regular additions of sanitizer to ensure that you are disinfecting the water.

Pink algae is not an algae at all, but a bacteria. Normal algaecides will not reliably work on them. There are products that are designed to assist chlorine with removal of these bacteria. To eliminate pink algae, you must super chlorinate your pool, turn off the filter, and clean it with a good filter cleaner. Let the filter soak overnight then backwash to waste. Let the chlorine level subside before using again. (Hint: a good rule of thumb is to toss into the pool the equipment that is normally used for pool maintenance, including hoses, brushes, etc. prior to super chlorinating. These need to be disinfected too).

Safety Cover FAQ

The water level should be kept with in 12″ of the top of the pool wall.

Initially, adjust the straps so that the springs are set to at least half compression. This will keep the cover tight and aid in draining. The springs should be checked periodically and the straps adjusted to maintain this tension.

Be sure your pool has the proper level of sanitizer and algaecide before closing it for the winter. This will insure that the water is clear upon opening in the spring. If the manual safety cover is left on when the temperature has gone beyond 60 degrees F., it may be necessary to add algaecide to maintain clarity.

Large accumulations of snow should be carefully removed, taking precautions not to damage the cover. Likewise if a large puddle of water accumulates it should be removed immediately by draining it to the drain or by using a weighted cover pump. The straps should be adjusted to prevent a reoccurrence. Failure to perform this maintenance could result in stretching or damage to the cover components. Drainage can be facilitated by slightly loosening the strap that runs through the drain areas while tightening the straps away from the drain. A small amount of puddling is normal and will evaporate in dry weather. If you have questions about these or any procedures, please contact your cover installer.

Covered pools in heavily wooded areas are susceptible to accumulation of leaves, needles and other debris that will inhibit water flow to and through the “Invis-a-drain”. It is very important to keep the drain clear of debris at all times.

For cover not ordered with sewn on padding, it is required that our loose 2′ x 20′ padding be placed as a barrier between rough or sharp coping and the cover itself. Periodic inspection of the cover is necessary for detection of early signs of wear.

The cover should be hosed off removing any debris that accumulated over the winter. If you have a cover with the invis-a-drain you should clear the drain also. Before folding the cover make sure it is completely dry. Cover cleaner and treatments, available at most pool supply stores, are also recommended.

After removing or prior to installing the cover, clean out all the anchor sockets with a stream of compressed air or water. This biannual cleaning will assure proper anchor function. Applying spray silicone to these components will also be beneficial to their proper operation. When the cover is not in use, screw anchors down completely to keep out debris and to prevent tripping, foot injuries, and cover damage.

Polymer Step FAQ

There can be a few reasons for this. The earth under the steps and or bracing could have been eroded away by water. The earth under the step could have also settled over time causing an air gap between the steps and bracing allowing the step tread to move up and down on the bracing.

Please call the warranty department for a complete listing of qualified repair technicians at 1-888-MY-POOL-2.

Depending on the severity of the scratch, there are remedies you the homeowner can do to repair the damaged area. It will depend on the size and depth of the scratch you are trying to repair. If you have a small cosmetic flaw you would like to repair these are the steps you must follow. First you must have the appropriate supplies to complete this task. They include: One can of white rubbing compound, a bottle of auto wax/polish, a mild non-abrasive dish detergent, 3 clean white disposable rags, and a little elbow grease.

Step 1: Apply compound to rag or step surface. Step 2: In a linear motion in line with the scratch, apply even direct pressure moving rag back and forth along scratch. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as many times as necessary until the scratch is removed or you are pleased with the results. Step 3: Using a fresh white rag and mild non-abrasive detergent clean the affected area thoroughly. Rinse with clean water and dry area completely. Step 4: Using polish/wax and clean white rag, polish area until you have achieved the results you are aiming for. This polish/wax protective coating should be applied a few times through out the year. If you have a deep gouge in the step there are qualified step technicians that will come to your house and repair the affected area. Please call the warranty department for a complete listing of qualified repair technicians at 1-888-MY-POOL-2.

Please call the warranty department for a complete listing of qualified repair technicians at 1-888-MY-POOL-2. This repair needs to be completed by a qualified repair technician.

Typically this problem is caused by improper water chemistry. The main cause of this discoloration is free metals in the water. You should bring a water sample to your local dealer for testing. They will instruct you on how to remedy the situation. Once the water is balanced the staining will dissipate without the need for scrubbing the stain area.

Use a clean white rag and a mild non-abrasive dish detergent to clean affected area. If necessary you can also use a plastic bristled scrub brush along with mild non abrasive dish detergent.