Need Pool Help? Pool Owner Resources
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pool-help-istkMay is here, the month in which most pools awake from a long winter slumber.

All swimming pools require repair and maintenance at some point, and today’s post is about In The Swim’s many resources for pool help or support.

InTheSwim Blog:

intheswim-blog3You know this one, you’re reading it right now. The In The Swim blog has over 400 posts for pool owners. Topics like Pool Chemistry and Cleaning, Pool Design and Decor and Pool Repair and Renovation. We also talk about pool equipment, party planning, and pool safety in 3 Main Categories How-To, Buyer’s Guide and Fun Stuff – or you can search the blog for any topic you need help with.


InTheSwim eGuides:

intheswim-eguidesIn our eGuides section, we have 30 articles for beginning to advanced pool owners. About half of them are Product Guides, useful to point out the sometimes small differences in product use and application. The other half cover loftier topics such as water conservation, aquatic therapy, learning to swim, or other pool safety discussions.


Pool Care FAQ:

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FAQ style question and answer format is a quick way to find general information on pool chemistry, pool equipment and seasonal pool maintenance tasks. The Pool Care FAQ covers perennial topics like algae, pH, shocking the pool, and also help in determining your pool capacity, in gallons. You’ll find pool maintenance info, like how to clean and service the pump and filter, or how to open and close your pool.


Water Test Calculator

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A relative newcomer to the club, our online Water Test Calculator has been hit up over 10,000 times already! Just plug in your test results – pH, FC, Alkalinity and Calcium, and hit submit button. The tool returns a page to compare your readings and show you what chemicals need to be added to achieve proper water balance.


Other Pool Help

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Our Help page has lots of customer service information; everything to do with ordering, payment, shipping and returns. But you can also find the link to email Dr. Pool, for general questions pool or spa care and repair questions, or for more information about certain pool parts or products. You can also pull up a Live Chat conversation with our Call Center, or call them directly anytime, 24/7 at 1-800-288-7946.


So many ways to find pool help with product questions, maintenance or repair concerns, I just had to let you know!

 

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Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

Water Workout: 5 Pool Noodle Exercises
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pool-noodle-exercises-istkWorking-Out can often be a battle between your commitment to a better life and an internal dialogue telling you to stay inside all day and watch Netflix.

A great battle plan is to break up your routine. Cross train to mix up your exercises and work different muscle groups.

For a combination of resistance training and aerobics, try working out in the pool with a pool noodle.

Let’s explore a few pool noodle exercises to try, keeping in mind that the number of reps you do will vary based on your current level of fitness.

Noodle Pull / Push

Image by Self Magazine - click to visit article on Self.comThis exercise focuses on your upper body but can be modified to an entire body workout as well. Standing in chest-deep water, hold the pool noodle near your chest with your palms down just beneath the surface of the water. Push the noodle down keeping it submerged until your arms are fully extended. Then slowly allow it to come up for one rep. To engage the whole body, do this exercise while walking through the water at the same time.

Noodle Tucks

Image by Self Magazine - click to visit article on self.comDo this in deeper water with the pool noodle wrapped behind your back and under your arms for stability. Starting with your legs straight below you, toes pointed toward the bottom, engage your abs and bring your knees up toward your chest as far as you can. Hold for two seconds, then move your legs back down to the starting position. Repeat for 10 reps.

Noodle Push Downs

Image by Self Magazine - click to visit article on self.comStanding in waist-deep water, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the pool noodle in front of you on the water’s surface with your hands slightly farther than shoulder-width apart. Push down on the noodle while simultaneously raising one leg straight behind you until your body is parallel to the bottom. Repeat with the other leg.

Pool Noodle Lunges

Image by Self Magazine - click to visit article on self.comStart in chest-deep water with one end of the pool noodle in each hand, arms extended in front of you underneath the water. Your hands should be close to each other, so the noddle forms a U in front of you. Step forward, lifting your leg high enough to step through the U while pushing the noodle toward the bottom of the pool. Make sure your forward foot goes all the way down before stepping back to the starting position.

Pool Noodle Running

Self-Magazine-pool-running-with-noodleIn waist-deep water, put the pool noodle around your back like a belt, with the U shape hugging your body. Place your hands on the front of the noodle. Start on one side of the pool and make your way to the other side, moving your legs in a running motion. The resistance of the water will make it difficult to run, which will build muscle in your legs and get your heart pumping. Turn the noodle around to the back, and you can also engage your arms.


Image by Aqua-Exercises.com - click to visit their siteThanks to Self Magazine for their inspirational pool noodle workouts article! Want more ideas? This Pinterest board features more pool noodle exercises you can try. And you’ll find lots of great pool noodle exercise animations on the aqua-exercises website.

 

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Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Affordable DIY Solar Pool Heating
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solar-pool-heaters-bannerSolar pool heating is the perfect DIY home project, something that nearly anyone can accomplish with simple tools.

And you can feel good about solar pool heating, as it appeals both to your altruistic side and also to your economical side.

Solar pool heaters can add 15° F (or more) to the pool, depending mainly on sun exposure and solar panel size, or square footage.

How do Solar Pool Heaters Work?

Installation involves unrolling the solar panels and securing them to a flat surface, facing southerly with 4-8 hrs of uninterrupted daily sun.

Then you run the pool return pipe (or hose) in and out of the solar panels, and use a 3-way valve to control the flow.

solar-heaterSolar panels are modular, connecting to each other easily. Water moves from panel to panel, soaking up the heat.

At the last panel, a pipe carries the heated water back to the return line, after the 3-way valve. A check valve is used to prevent cycling or looping of water.

DIY Solar Panel Projects

Here are 4 DIY Solar Pool Heater projects, along with estimated costs for solar panels, lumber and plumbing supplies.

Lean-To Solar Panel Rack

In this simple solar rack, you use an existing fence or structure to support the rack, which saves space and cost. This solar pool heater is using two 4’x20′ solar panels, or 160 sq. ft. of solar surface area; a good size for pools up to 12,000 gallons. basic-solar-rack
Materials:

  • 2 – 4’x20′ Solar Panels with Connector Kit     $681
  • 85′ board feet of 2’x4′ lumber, and Screws     $ 45
  • 50′ 1.5″ PVC pipe, 3-way Valve, and Fittings  $ 95

Total: $821


Rooftop Solar Rack

A fortunate garage roof next to the pool equipment, this solar pool heater is using five 4’x10′ solar panels, or 200 sq. ft. of solar surface area; a good size for pools up to 15,000 gallons. Panels can be installed 2 or even 3 stories high.

solar-panels-on-roof-of-garageMaterials:

  • 5 – 4’x10′ Solar Panels with Connector Kit     $1161
  • 50′ 1.5″ PVC pipe, 3-way Valve, and Fittings  $  95

Total: $1256


Freestanding Solar Rack

This platform rack is made entirely of 2×4’s, plywood and lattice, and also makes a nice storage area for lawn care equipment and supply. This solar pool heater is using four 4’x20′ solar panels, or 320 sq. ft. of solar surface area; a good size for pools up to 25,000 gallons.  solar-rack-2 Materials:

  • 4 – 4’x20′ Solar Panels with Connector Kit     $1301
  • 155′ board feet of 2’x4′ lumber, and Screws  $    95
  • 10 – 4×8 Pine Plywood & 2 – 4×8 Lattice        $  181
  • 50′ 1.5″ PVC pipe, 3-way Valve, and Fittings  $   95

Total: $1676


Pergola Solar Rack

Doubling as a shade relief area, this simple pergola design is using six 4’x10′ solar panels, or 240 sq. ft. of solar surface area; a good size for pools up to 18,000 gallons. If this pergola was 12′ x 20′ (instead of 10′ x 25′), it could use three 4’x20′ panels, for a $400 savings, with the same solar area (240 sf).pergola-solar-pool-heaterMaterials

  • 6 – 4’x10′ Solar Panels with Connector Kit     $1376
  • 170′ board feet of 6’x6′ lumber, and Bolts      $   622
  • 39 – 2×3 Pressure Treated Pine, and Screws $  133
  • 50′ 1.5″ PVC pipe, 3-way Valve, and Fittings  $   95

Total: $2226


DIY Solar Pool Heaters that actually heat the pool! Free heat from the sun with no carbon footprint. With a 5-year warranty, our Smartpool Solar Heaters are the smart way to heat the pool!

mailbox-animationIf you have questions about installing solar on your pool, leave a comment below, or send us an email!

In The Swim started with Solar Pool Heaters as our very first product ~ you can always find knowledgeable solar help here to answer any questions you have about solar pool heating!

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Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

Go Pro! Commercial Pool Cleaning Tools
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pool-cleaner-jameslee1-istkCleaning pools is hard enough, without suffering with inferior kids stuff pool cleaning tools.

I’ve been in a lot of backyards, and few pool owners upgrade from the cheapo tools they got free when they built the pool.

Commercial pool cleaning tools cost more, but last longer, and save tons of time and effort.

 
Telescopic Pool Poles

commmercial-pool-polesYou can’t clean your pool with a bent half-pole! SkimLite poles are super rigid and durable Aluminum with lengths of 16′, 18′ and 31 ft.

Or, our virtually unbreakable fiberglass pole has dual locking cams, 8-16 ft. It may be the last pole you ever buy!

 
Pool Vacuum Heads

commercial-vacuum-headsFor serious suction, commercial pools use 2″ vac hose, connected to extra large vacuum heads, like our 24″ Flex Vac with dual suction ports, works great even with residential pumps.

For a very large pool, wider than your pool pole is long, wishbone steering on the classic aluminum 18″ vac head flips the pole to the other side of the pool.

 
Pool Leaf Rakes

commercial-leaf-rakesIf you have ever used one of those flat dip-n-flip skim nets, you know how worthless they are. Pool Leaf Rakes are the best way to skim the surface and dredge the pool floor.

With a sturdy aluminum frame, unbreakable handle and durable polyester net, they last for years! Commercial Leaf Nets are available in 20″ and 24″ widths.

 
Pool Brushes

commercial-pool-brushesI’ve seen your pool brush, and it’s seen better days.

Make it easier on yourself by brushing the pool with a larger brush. Step up to the commercially sized 24″ or 36″ pool brush.

Or try the 18″ Supreme pool brush. 4 inch row of over 20,000 bristles deep cleans your pool.

 
Pool Test Kits

taylor-commercial-test-kitsWhy not maintain the pool water like a pro, too!

The Taylor K-2005 test kit is the preferred pool test kit by lifeguards, pool operators, and is the same kit used by many pool store test jockeys!

The Taylor K-2006 is the same, with titration for super accurate chlorine readings.

 

Step up your game this summer with commercial cleaning tools that you can count on for years of service.

You might even enjoy cleaning the pool! Maybe, a little bit? :-)

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Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

 

 

Deck Design Tips to Transform your Pool
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flagstone-pool-decksWhether you have an inground or above-ground swimming pool, a well-designed deck makes the whole backyard more attractive, fun and functional.

A great deck can also cover and camouflage a pool’s less aesthetic features by creating new focal points.

Design with a variety of decking materials including wood, pavers, natural stone, or composite decking to transform an average pool into a backyard destination that’s mind-blowing!

Different Decks for Pretty Pools

Decks for inground pools can have surface treatments. Years ago, surface treatment options were limited to bare concrete covered with Cool Deck, a colored spray-on cement.

Today, homeowners can choose from a variety of surface materials intended to enhance the aesthetics of an entire backyard to create a beautiful outdoor living space.

deck-materials-galore

Inground pools can be surrounded with cast cement pavers, natural stone pavers, concrete, patio tiles, wood, composite. While materials (like natural stone like slate and granite) can be expensive, stamped concrete decking can be used to mimic more expensive materials at a more budget-friendly price.

Broom finished concrete is still the basic pool deck, with the lowest cost per square foot installed. Plain concrete can be accessorized with a quartz, rock salt or exposed aggregate finish. Stamped color patterns or stained concrete slabs are some ways to jazz up an old standard, and make a bold decorative deck upgrade.

stained-concrete-pool-deck

Above-ground pools are usually limited to wood and composite or resin materials, but creative deck builders use designs featuring stone or imitation stone walls wrapping the pool.

Regardless of the materials, aboveground pool decks should include adequate room between the deck and the pool wall to avoid maintenance and repair problems later.

Wooden decks made from cedar, redwood or oak will require periodic sealing for protection from cracking, warping and discoloring. Resin or composite pool deck kits don’t require this, but can also be kept looking new with regular sealing.

wood-deck-above-ground-pool

Deck Resurfacing Options

ConcreteNetwork shows that resurfacing concrete decks surrounding inground pools gives them a new look without the expense and effort of a completely new installation. Coatings can be used to beautify and protect concrete decks.

stampcrete-pool-deck-2

Thin pavers or ceramic tiles can be placed over top of an existing pool deck with level slabs. And if the pool coping stones are replaced at the same time, thicker stones can be used, to match the rise in vertical height.

Wood deck platforms can easily be placed over top of pool decks or scrubby patches around the pool, with small planter areas for a mix of ground cover, bushes or ornamental trees.

Pool Deck Maintenance

Keep your pool deck looking good with an annual pressure washing, especially important if you have a salt pool. Pool deck sealers are recommended for most custom finishes, to help prevent stains from leaves, dirt and such.

Maintaining wood surfaces surrounding pools is even more important. Tighten screws and fittings, check railings and sand any rough surfaces, then power wash, followed by staining and sealing. This Old House features a comprehensive guide to deck maintenance.

Pool Deck Design Style

Pool deck designs can be as simple or elaborate as your time and budget allow. Pool decks can use a combination of materials like wood, brick and natural stone for interest and variety.

sliding-deck-by-moana

The design style you choose can help to limit your color and material palette choices and help guide material choices. Desert, garden or tropical, an overall theme will help you to consolidate elements into a cohesive design.

It’s hard to change the shape of the pool, but the pool deck and landscaping is more fluid, like putty in the hands of a sculptor.

 

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Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

Helping Any Age Learn How to Swim
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learning-to-swimMaybe you want to learn how to finally do more than the dog paddle, or perhaps you’re teaching your little ones how to become strong swimmers.

People of all ages can enjoy the process of learning how to swim. And you can help them!

Get the Right Equipment

For adults who are learning to swim, certain types of equipment can make the experience easier. Consider purchasing swim fins, which help propel you through the water quickly and more efficiently. As a bonus, wearing fins also helps strengthen your ankles.

swim-goggles-from-intheswim-istkSnorkels are a great way to keep you focused on holding your body correctly in the water and how you are rotating your arms and kicking your legs. And both adults and kids should wear goggles when learning to swim – not only do they enable you to see underwater, but they’ll keep chlorine out of your eyes, too.

kid-learning-to-swim-with-pool-noodle-istkOther swim training aids can include a simple pool noodle or kickboard, or the AquaJogger Jr. Learn to Swim belt. Avoid using water wings, which can interfere with proper swim movements.

Keep It Short and Sweet

While adults might be able to get through longer swimming lessons, young kids do best with shorter, fun lessons. For children under 5 years old, 20 minutes is about the right amount of time, 1-2x per week. On some days you may be able to extend it to 30 minutes.

For the very young, start with water acclimation training. See if your child is able to put her face in the water. Carry her into the pool, and dip down until the water comes up to your chins.

blowing-bubbles-underwater Then progress to blowing bubbles in the water, which helps kids get more comfortable with getting their faces wet. Full success is when you can both dip under water, smile at each other calmly, and then come up again for air.

Before long, they will be jumping off the edge of the pool, into your waiting arms. Young kids become more comfortable in the water over time; because when you’re very small, a swimming pool seems very large!

Ready, Set, Swim

Once kids are comfortable in the water, show them how to do some fun swim drills. For example, the push-and-glide approach involves the child holding onto the side of the pool and then pushing back into your arms. To make it even more fun, ask your child to pretend to be a rocket or Superman. Although this will seem like a fun game to a child, it’s actually helping her to master the correct position in the water.

Once she has mastered this technique, you can move on to adding a flutter kick, to extend the distance when pushing off the wall. Then add a breast stroke style pull with the arms.

Swim stroke development comes in stages. Practice the kicking, arm motions and breathing separately, while standing in shallow water or holding onto the edge of the pool.

learn-to-swim-kickboardWhen the student is ready, bring together all of the coordinated arm, leg and body movements, with a little support from you underneath, to keep them prone and on top of the water.

Learn Proper Positioning

When learning to swim, most adults and kids tend to hold their upper bodies and heads too high in the pool. When your head is above water, your legs and hips tend to drop down, which can impede your progress.

nearly-proper-swim-stroke-technique-istkWhen learning to swim, focus on pointing the head down and remaining prone in the water. While inhaling, instead of lifting the chin out of the water, stay flat in the water and roll the upper body and head to one side, pushing the opposite arm forward.

Practice this advanced swimming skill while holding onto the edge of the pool, and with support from the instructor – it takes time to master!

Safety First

No matter how old the student is, pool safety is the number one concern. Consider getting a pool alarm to protect the pool when you’re not watching. A pool safety fence can effectively keep curious kids and pets out of the pool area.

homemade-shut-the-gate-sign-which-we-do-not-sellWhen teaching a new swimmer how to swim, always remain within arm’s reach, and keep your focus on your student. If you have to leave the pool for any reason, everyone leaves, and then shut the gate.

Recommended Related Reading

PoolSafely.gov
Swim Lesson Plans for Home
When to Signup for Swim Lessons
Is Your Child Ready for Swim Lessons?

Most importantly, have fun. Swimming is a life skill that opens up the door for so many water related activities. But kids aren’t just little adults (and adults aren’t little kids) so stay positive and patient, encouraging and empathetic, to keep swim lessons light and fun for swim students of any age.

 

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Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

 

How to Design a Great Backyard
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pool-design-and-decor-tipsYour backyard is an extension of your home living space; a place to relax, entertain and barbecue with family and friends.

Whether simple and utilitarian or elaborate and feature-packed, plan your backyard with design tips for patios, plants and pool furniture.

Start With the Patio

If you step out of your back door directly onto grass, gravel or dirt, consider creating a patio. The patio is a blank slate for homeowners to fill with the furniture and accessories that suit their taste and lifestyle.

HGTV stylist Emily HendersonHGTV stylist Emily Henderson offers some pointers for creating a beautiful outdoor space on any budget. She advises three steps to patio design to include defining the space, bringing in functional and inviting furniture, and adding a layer of accessories for fun and comfort, like pillows and lighting.

If you have or plan to install a pool, you can design the patio elements around the pool to make it a central focus. Installing a paver patio can be done in a weekend of dedicated effort with simple tools and a little planning.

Major steps include marking the area, removing the surface and digging out the space, tamping down the excavated area, laying gravel and sand, placing patio pavers, and adding a final layer of sand or stone dust to fill in between the pavers or natural stones.

Wood platform pool decks can add a contemporary feel to your seating and lounging areas, and can be installed quickly and affordably.

wood deck platform for pool seating area

Choosing Plants and Shrubs

Plants and shrubs add beauty and privacy to your backyard and create a more natural-looking backdrop for elements like pools and patios. Depending on your budget, you can use plants in containers to brighten up a patio and decorate a pool area or invest in larger landscape installations of trees and shrubs.

Keep the mature plant and shrub sizes in mind when you’re making your selections and planting them. Allow plenty of room between plants and shrubs for proper growth, and plant tall trees close to your property line for privacy.

When planting trees around swimming pools, take falling leaves and seeds into consideration and plant far enough away so it won’t be an issue. Or, select mess-free plants and trees such as cypress evergreens, mixed with colorful papyrus, hibiscus, day lilies, heavenly bamboo or bird of paradise. Avoid plants with berries, fruit or leaf litter.

nice-pool-landscaping-and-blue-pool-lounges

Furnish Your Backyard Spaces

Once your patio has been laid out and your shrubs and trees have been planted, it’s time for the fun part—decorating. Whether you opt to buy new, shop at thrift stores or try some creative DIY projects for your outdoor furnishings, select bold colors that will accentuate the vibrancy of your new space.

Create unique spaces to sit and gather with outdoor living room sets surrounding a firepit for cool evenings by the pool. A cabana area or pergola with climbing vines adds shade and privacy.

Besides some cool pool furniture, accessorize with pool umbrellas and well placed lighting for after dark. Tiki torches, planters, bird baths, poolside waterfall, or outdoor objets d’art can really make your pool pop!

Contemporary pool furniture with canopy

Toodles!

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Sheryl Sollis
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Olympic Committee Reviews Spray-On Swim Suits
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tracer-O-series-swimwear-3The International Olympic Committee is reviewing an application by TYR Sport and several backers for a Spray-On Swimsuit for use by swimmers this summer at the Rio Olympic games.

According to Swimming World, TYR Sport, Inc. has introduced the newest development in suit technology since the institution of FINA guidelines limiting suit exposure and fabrics.

Unlike traditional out-of-the-box swimsuits, the new Tracer Outline Series makes use of a new patent-pending spray-on Lycra application. The new suit solution has been given preliminarily approval by FINA, the international governing body of aquatic sports and is now being reviewed for the 2016 Olympic games.

“We had been prepared for this project launch more than a year ago, but the rules mandating permeability forced us to go back to the drawing board,” explained Mitt Remmiz, TYR’s International Team and Promotions Director.

tracer-O-series-swimwear-1That change actually helped improve the suit.  Working with FINA, TYR added a level of permeability that allows the suit to ‘breathe’ thus making it the most comfortable, most customizable swimsuit solution available. “It is so comfortable,” explained Remmiz, “that we expect people will wear the O-Series outside the pool.”

The new TYR O-Series joins with TYR’s B-Series and C-Series to offer swimmers customized technologies based on their needs.

According to CollegeSwimming this new suit is unlike traditional swimming suits, the new spray-on swimsuit adheres to the body to create customized swim wear. Using an eco-friendly aerosol propellant, the Lycra suit immediately bonds to the swimmers’ skin.

“It was important to us as a company to ensure that the new suit could be delivered in an environmentally responsible manner,” explained Remmiz.

tracer-O-series-swimwear-4TYR worked extensively with the Northwestern University Molecular Spandex Research Center along with manufacturers in the fashion industry to create a suit that completely eliminates straps or seams. This gives the O-Series suits less resistance than other racing suits.

Other benefits of the Spray-On Racing Suit include:

  • greater core stability and compression
  • complete customization with thirty-two colors
  • Water soluble – simply wash the suit off after swimming (suit is not recommended for distances over 25K).
  • Applies in just minutes, fast dry formula.

Sound too good to be true? It is, the Spray-On Swimsuit is a hoax! Happy April Fool’s Day!

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Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

Hard Pool Water: Removing Calcium Scale
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dr.-pool-lg

Hello, I’m Dr. Pool, resident chemist at In The Swim.

Today’s discussion centers on calcium scale, in the form of calcium carbonate, also known as lime scale.

Many parts of the US have hard water, which can leave calcium deposits on pool surfaces.

What causes Scale in Pools?

Calcium carbonate scale can form along the waterline of the pool as evaporation increases during the summer.

Calcium crystals can form as nodules, dotting the surface of plaster and metal surfaces, or as crusty deposits in corners.

The cause of calcium scale is the result of high calcium hardness, over 400 ppm, and is triggered by high Alkalinity, high pH and high water temperatures.

How to Prevent Calcium Scale?

  • Use a Sequestering Agent to keep calcium locked up in solution, so it can’t precipitate into scaly deposits. Agents such as Scale Free, Stain Away and Metal Klear sequester metals and minerals.
  • Avoid the use of calcium hypochlorite shock, which will add calcium to the pool.
  • Keep your pH and Alkalinity on the low end of the scale; 7.2-7.4 pH and 80 ppm Alkalinity.
  • Balance your LSI. A Langelier Saturation Index determines your pool’s propensity to scale. Pentair LSI calculator accepts 5 water test results and then does the math for you.
  • Use a clarifier if needed to seek out calcium particles, clumping them together so that your filter can remove.

How to Remove Calcium Scale?

Calcium Scale can be removed with muriatic acid, or dry acid dissolved in water. A sponge works well for small areas, or a flower watering can for larger areas. Don your lab glasses and gloves for acid removal of tile scale. It will fizz and bubble and emit noxious fumes, as it dissolves the scale. Acid Magic can also be used.

Tile with calcium hard water deposits, before and after. Photo by cleanthatpooltile.com

Calcium Deposits on Tile:

Lower the water level to the bottom of the tile and prepare an acid solution, and apply with a sponge or thick brush. A putty knife or wire brush can help to knock off scale deposits. Rinse with water after 1 minute, reapply if needed.

Use a Pumice Stone or PoolStone to remove scale deposits from pool tile, with a lot of elbow grease.

Hire a bead blasting service to come out and professionally remove the calcium on pool tiles. Many are now using magnesium sulfate, an inorganic salt that is less aggressive than bead or sand blasting.

cleanthatpooltile


Calcium Deposits on Plaster:

Many white plaster pools have calcium deposits all over them, but you don’t notice it – because the surface is already white. Black or Grey plaster pools develop the same hazy calcium films, but are quite noticeable. Darker colors can be restored with acid washing.

To remove nodules or crystals from the surface, you can start with a PoolStone, and see if you can manage to do the entire pool, sanding off the rough calcium bits. Or, you can drain the pool and acid wash, or possibly just pressure wash, the pool.

rough-plaster-nodules-of-calcium-poolplasterconsultants

Efflorescence on Tile and Stonework:

Similar to calcium scale which comes from the pool water, efflorescence is calcium lime scale that comes from the grout between tiles or stones placed into a wall or water feature.

What causes this is moisture coming out from behind the tile or stone, through the grout or mortar joints, and bringing calcium with it. The same process that creates stalagmites.

Sometimes the moisture comes from the pool as shown below. Sealers can be used on the tile to provide an invisible barrier. For larger stone or brick walls above the water, preventing efflorescence may require sealing for sources of water behind the wall.

efflorescence-on-pool-tile-photo-by-troublefreepools


For those of you that live with hard water (>400 ppm) right out of the tap, you have my sympathies!

But even with hard water, you can control the calcium and prevent deposits with good water balance and sequestering agents, and a little elbow grease!

DrPool-thumb

Dr. Pool

 

Prom or Grad Pool Party Plans
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zazzle-grad-party-invitationIf you have high school age kids, and a backyard pool, why not plan for a Prom or Grad Party?

Teenagers are super sophisticated nowadays, so I’ve put together a list of party planning ideas to help make your pool pop!

Prom Pool Party

Whether you are trying to keep the party going for your kids safely at home after prom has already ended – or throwing a post-prom bash to help everyone relax after a night full of dancing, centering a party around the pool can be a great way to keep everyone entertained.

One idea to narrow your décor choices is to match the theme of the prom. Whether it’s Starry Night, or Tropical Paradise, having a theme always can definitely help boost a pool party’s energy.

Light the Night

led-lighted-pool-loungeIf you are having a night party, lighting is key, and this LED lighted lounge is the perfect way to brighten up your pool party. They look great and are so much fun!

led-disco-ball-for-poolsYou can also light up your pool with floating pool lights, or LED light shows. These are battery operated floating LED lights that’s like a disco ball for your pool! Larger pools will want several for full coverage.

LED-lighted-3-tier-fountainAn elegant way to add class to your pool and truly carry your guests to away to Paris starry night is with a fountain. Our 3-Tier 5 color LED fountain connects to your pool return.

pool-string-lightsA cheap and maybe even free way to give your pool an elegant feel would be to pull out those white Christmas lights you use during the winter and line your patio or wrap backyard trees with them! String lights overhead are also popular.

starry-night-candles-by-blog-dot-bergenYou can also make your own lights with simply a mason jar and a tea light candle and light a path to the pool. You can make these stunning starry night candles for DIY decor!

 

Graduation Pool Party

saxons-green-and-gold-2When decorating a pool for a graduation party, the easiest thing you can do is focus on the colors of the school. Whether It’s purple and yellow or green and gold, finding ways to incorporate the school colors into your party is a great way to show pride.

pom--poms-by-martha-stewartOne simple DIY craft you can use to add in these colors is creating your own Pom Poms. You can use as many colors as you want or just choose your grad’s favorite colors to add a more personal flair.

pool-pizza-inflatable-raftPool floats are also an essential ingredient to any successful graduation pool party. Floats for two are also a great way to allow your guests to leisurely hangout without floating away from each other.

diploma-cookiesTheming your party food and drinks is also an awesome way to bring your theme into the party. By simply wrapping a ribbon around Pirouette cookies, you can create an unforgettable sweet themed treat.

Continue to use your theme with all the treats and eats, and your color scheme in drinks!


Summer is right around the corner, start planning your Prom or Graduation pool parties now, and you’ll be all set!

dana-katz
Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger