Category Archives: Love Pool

A pool is a valuable investment. Like all other investments, you want to make sure you receive the most out of it. That is why it is important to keep it running properly. The following terms will help you to keep your pool running properly and allow you to get the most out of your investment!

Chlorination

In order to keep the pool water free of contaminants, it is necessary to add a chemical, which is capable of killing algae before it becomes visible, or a health hazard. As a rule, the presence of algae in water does not pose a significant risk to health, but it can enter open cuts or sores and cause infection. Once the concentration of algae in the water becomes great, it is visible to the naked eye as discolored water or blemishes on the pool surface.

The Chlorine Scale

The concentration of chlorine in water is measured in parts per million (ppm), that is, parts of chlorine per one million parts of water. A standard test kit is graduated on one side from zero ppm to 3.0 ppm. Most test kits are labeled with an “ideal” level for chlorine, usually between 1.0 and 1.5 ppm. While this level is adequate for most pools, it is recommended to maintain a higher chlorine concentration than this during the hot summer months often experienced in Florida. It has been found that a concentration of 1.5 ppm dissipates too quickly during days with temperatures above 95-100 degrees.

Superchlorination

Superchlorination refers to a process in which the chlorine level in the swimming pool is raised to abnormally high levels over a very short period of time, usually a few hours. Another common name for superchlorination is “shocking”. Over time and with extended use, organic wastes build up in the pool water. These wastes include body oils, sweat and other body fluids, and suntan lotions. Generally, 1 gallon of liquid chlorine is needed for every 10,000 gallons of pool water. It is recommended that superchlorination take place in the evening, after the sun has set, since this is when the pool is not being used and treatment will not be removed by UV rays from the sun before it has the opportunity to perform its function.

Conditioner

Conditioner is a name given to a chemical that inhibits the degradation of chlorine by UV light. Other commonly used names for conditioner include: stabilizer, sun-shield or the chemical name cyanuric acid. The recommended ideal level for conditioner in a swimming pool is between 40 and 100 ppm.

Total Alkalinity

Total alkalinity is a measure of the total amount of dissolved particles in the water whose pH is higher than 7.0. Examples of particles include dirt, sand, and baking soda. Alkaline particles in the pool water, at certain levels, act as a buffer to prevent rapid changes in the pool’s pH. Thus, when the total alkalinity of the pool water is within the ideal levels, the pH of the water will tend to stay balanced for longer periods of time. For all pool surfaces, the recommended level falls between 120 and 140 ppm.

The pH Scale

On a standard test kit, the pH scale is graduated from 6.8 to 8.2. The numbers refer to the concentration of hydrogen (acid) in the water but the scale is somewhat reverse. The ideal level for pH is generally the same for all swimming pools regardless of climate, amount of use, temperature, or pool surface. This ideal level falls between 7.4 and 7.6 for all pool surfaces.

Pool Surface

The type of surface on a swimming pool can also affect the pH of the pool water. Plaster or plaster based pool surfaces such as quartz, are porous, alkaline materials. They can absorb and neutralize acid in pool water, thereby raising its pH. In this case, small amounts of acid are generally needed to maintain a proper pH balance. Fiberglass, vinyl, and painted plaster pools, on the other hand, do not have porous surfaces, and thus do not absorb or neutralize acid in the water. Here, small amounts of soda ash or baking soda may be needed to keep the pH at a proper level after acid is added in the form of rain, citrus leaves, etc.

The Pump

The pump is essentially the heart of the swimming pool’s circulation system. It pulls water from the pool through the skimmer and main drain, pushes it through the filter and returns it to the pool through the main returns. The entire operation of the swimming pool is dictated by the operation of the pump. The cleaning system cannot, in general, operate without the main pump, and the pool water cannot be filtered without the main pump operating. It is crucial, therefore, to be aware with the proper schedule for the operation of the main pump. It is recommended that the pump run 12 hours per day during the hottest summer months, and 4-5 hours per day during the winter months, and to varying degrees during the spring and fall. The daily cycle can be divided into multiple cycles, but each cycle should be no shorter than 4 hours since this is the minimum time it takes for all of the water in the pool to pass through the filter at least once, it is also the recommended time between the addition of chemicals and the next water test/or pool use.

Brushing the Pool

There is no substitute for a thorough brushing of the walls and bottom of the pool. Most automatic cleaners can’t scrub the floor to remove small debris and algae spores from the pores in the pool surface, and this must be done to ensure a stain and algae free pool surface. Be sure to brush the pool while the pump is operating, and to cover the entire pool from the tile line to the main drain. Sweep slowly and push the brush toward the main drain so that the debris will be pulled into the drain and then into the filter, where it will be removed from the water. If large amounts of debris were removed during the process, it is advisable to clean the filter afterward.

Vacuuming the Pool

If the amount of debris in the pool is too great to be removed by either the automatic cleaning system or by brushing, the pool should be vacuumed to remove the debris before it becomes attached to the pool surface and requires special methods to remove.

Skimming the Pool

While vacuuming and brushing remove dirt and debris from the bottom of the pool, they do not remove the debris such as grass, leaves, and bugs which float on the water surface. The skimmer built into the pool deck usually removes this debris, but it can accumulate in large amounts, and it may take the built-in skimmer an appreciable time to remove it. By using a hand skimmer, the debris can be quickly removed before it has the opportunity to become saturated with water and sink to the bottom.

Energy Efficient Pumps

Trying to get the kids out of the pool for lunch or for snacks is no easy feat. They’re having so much fun and don’t want to stop just to eat! Make it worth their while by creating fun, irresistible snacks!

We have a Pinterest board dedicated to snacks by the pool. Check it out for more inspiration!

sourwormpopsicles

Beat the heat with DIY popsicles! Add sour gummy worms for a tart flavor (and they’re fun to eat!).

pizzawheels

Pack some protein with pizza wheels! Easy, hands-on snack that’s guaranteed to get them to take a break.

lunchbox

Are you heading out to a pool? Pack a lunch in advance!

goldfish

What a fun way to “go fishing!” Kids will have just as much fun getting their goldfish as they will swimming.

sprite

If your kids have friends over, this is a cute idea for beverages!

Want more ideas? Visit our Pinterest page!

Hurricane season takes place June 1 through November 30.

There are many myths regarding throwing outdoor furniture inside pools and even draining a swimming pool before a hurricane. Both of these actions can be dangerous and detrimental to a swimming pool. Below are some tips from FSPA to help you become better prepared for a storm.

  1. Do not drain your pool before a storm. Keeping sufficient water levels in your pool provides the important weight to hold sides and bottom in place.
  2. Before and after the storm it is recommended to super chlorinate pool water.
  3. It is important that all electric power be turned off at the circuit breakers before a storm hits. Any exposed electrical equipment such as motors for the pumps should be tightly covered with plastic wrap. If flooding is expected, disconnect and remove.
  4. Storms can cause ripped lanai screens which can be expensive to replace. This can possibly be avoided if you provide a “vent” for wind to escape through. Screen panels may be removed on either side of the pool area.
  5. Remove any loose objects such as chairs, tables, pool equipment and even toys. These items can become weapons in high wind storms. Do not throw your furniture in the pool, or anything else for that matter. If you cannot store items inside a building, carefully place items in the pool, this is not recommended.
  6. After the storm use a “pool rake” or other net/skimming device to remove small debris from inside the pool. Do not use your regular pool vacuum equipment or pool pumps as they are likely to clog the plumbing.
  7. Before touching any electrical equipment after the storm, be sure that everything is dry. Check circuit breakers to be sure they are off before attempting to reconnect electrical equipment such as pump motors. Inspect wiring for proper connections. If electric motors have been exposed to water, they should be checked by a professional.
  8. Be sure clocks, timers, etc. have been properly reset and balance the water chemistry. Keep a close eye on your operating systems for a few days to ensure everything is in working order.

For more information on how to prepare for a hurricane, click here!

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention reminds you to enjoy the outdoors safely. They have named the Friday before Memorial Day “Don’t Fry Day.”

What You Can Do to Be Safe in the Sun:
  1. Do Not Burn
    Overexposure to the sun is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.
  2. Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds
    Ultraviolet (UV) light from tanning beds and the sun causes skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, use a sunless self-­-tanning product instead.
  3. Cover Up
    Wear protective clothing, such as a long-­-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-­-brimmed hat, and sunglasses,where possible.
  4. Seek Shade/Use Umbrellas
    Seek shade when appropriate. Remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  5. Generously Apply Sunscreen
    Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 that provides broad-­-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
  6. Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand
    Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  7. Check the UV Index
    The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. Developed by the National Weather Service (NWS) and EPA, you can find the UV Index for your area online at: www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html
  8. Get Vitamin D Safely
    Get vitamin D safely through a diet that includes vitamin supplements and foods fortified with vitamin D.  Don’t seek the sun or indoor tanning.

The first step to being safe around water is learning to swim! Swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning by 88%. Below are several organizations that offer swimming lessons. Click each organization to find out about lessons near you.

YMCA – Learn about water safety and find a YMCA near you for swim lessons.

Red Cross – Learn about Red Cross swimming lessons. On the right hand side of the screen click on “local Red Cross chapter” to find lessons near you!

ISR – Infant Swimming Resource. Learn how this method teaches young children self-rescue skills and then enter your ZIP code to find certified instructors near you!

United States Swim School Association – An association of
quality schools devoted to aquatic education for lifelong safety, fun and health. Enter your zip code to find a swim school in your area.

Swim America – The nation’s leading learn to swim school. Click on the “General Public” link and under the FAQs you can search for a location near you.

Swim with Gills – A traveling swim school in Hobe Sound. Lifeguard and other services also available

Miracle Swimming for Adults, Inc.  – Miracle Swimming teaches that learning to swim means to overcome fear and become safe, comfortable, and free in deep water; that learning strokes is the choreography of swimming that can happen easily after someone feels at home in deep water.

* The Florida Swimming Pool Association does not endorse any of these organizations. Other public pools and organizations in your area may also offer swimming lessons.

Visit the Swimming Pool Education and Safety Foundation at www.pooleducationandsafety.org to donate money for pool safety and swim lessons.

School is almost out which means your pool will be busy! Make your pool the place to be this summer with great pool parties.

End of School: Keep that excitement going on the last day of school by having an end of school pool party! Let the kids be with their school friends just a little bit longer before summer family plans start.

Birthday: Summer birthday parties at the pool are a great way for friends to catch up and make more summer plans to hang out.

Fourth of July: Reunite your kids with their school friends in the middle of summer! BBQ, hot dogs, popsicles, and fireworks are destined to make this pool party a blast.

Have more pool party ideas for the summer? Share them with us! You can also see more pool party ideas on our Pinterest!

 

 

 

*Pool parties should ALWAYS be supervised by an adult!

Did you know May is National Water Safety Month?

The Florida Swimming Pool Association is joining thousands of organizations all over the country in educating the public on swimming pool safety. Let’s work together to inform and educate on water safety and prevent drowning.

Florida loses more children under the age of five to drowning than any other state annually. There were 73 child fatalities in Florida due to drowning in 2016; children under the age of three represent 70% of that number.

FSPA wants everyone to make a SPLASH this summer:

S- Supervision. Everything can change in an instant and children should never be alone in the pool.

P- Protection. Install certified safety pool covers for the when the pool isn’t in use. Don’t swim without safety covers on drains, suction fittings and jets. Pool fences and locks are great preventative measures.

L- Lessons. You are never too old to learn how to swim and children can learn to swim as early as six months old. Lessons are the only safety device that travel with your child.

A- Action. Have an emergency plan in place and respond quickly. CPR is an invaluable tool.

S- Safety. Create a set of pool rules for your children and guests. Make sure your children understand the rules and have a conversation about safety.

H- Health. Always use the restroom before getting in the pool and always remember to wear sunscreen.

FSPA urges everyone as we enter the warmer months to find swimming lessons in their local area. Organizations such as the YMCA, The Red Cross, ISR, US Swim School Association, and Swim America are just a few examples of organizations that offer lessons. Some schools even offer free lessons to families who qualify.

 

With so many great and cute pool toys out there, you just have to have them all. But where are you going to put them?

Where does functionality meet fashion? Pinterest, of course! FSPA is on Pinterest with boards of past design award winners (major inspiration) and other pool-related pins. Follow us!

On Pinterest there are organization products you can buy, such as rolling bins or containers. There are even pins for DIY organizers! Pallets and PVC pipes are popular materials used to make your own organizer. See for yourself on Pinterest and stay organized this pool season!

What are some of your favorite ways to organize your pool toys?

 

There is no pretty way to say “pee in the pool.” But the topic isn’t that pretty to begin with. The National Swimming Pool Foundation recently published an article with their recommendations on reducing urine in the pool.

Before we even get in the pool, encourage everyone to use the bathroom. Being submerged in the water actually stimulates the body to create more urine.

Everyone at the pool plays a role in prevention:

Swim Coaches: require a bathroom break 30-60 minutes into the practice.

Parents: schedule an “out of pool” time for a snack, sunscreen, and bathroom break every 30-60 minutes.

Facility Managers: schedule short breaks to encourage people to exit the water. (example: 10-minute “adult only” swim time). Also post signage that suggests showering and using the bathroom before getting into the pool.

Swimming has so many health benefits on top of being a fun activity. So let’s keep it healthy and take the “pee” out of pool.

So you’ve decided to make an addition to your household: your very own pool. You’re excited to have your own water oasis to relax, have friends over, or simply just play in. But first: where do you go to make this dream a reality?

You could just mindlessly enter questions into Google and see what comes up. Luckily the Florida Swimming Pool Association offers a search bar to find pool pros near you! Just enter your ZIP code and see for yourself.

What makes our database different than what Google finds? Our database is comprised solely of FSPA members. FSPA members agree to a code of ethics when they sign up. All members are carefully selected making sure their licenses are up to date. When you hire an FSPA member to do your pool you are guaranteed honest work and people.

Of course we encourage you to do your own research as well; you will be the one working with whichever company you choose. Some things to think about when choosing a pool contractor:

  • How long has their business been around? Do they have pictures of past work?
  • Check their social media. What do their reviews look like? What does their communication look like? Also check them on Yelp and BBB.
  • Are they licensed? Do they have their licenses listed? You can also search for their licenses on the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s (DBPR) website.