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Ask the Experts



The Solutions To All Your Pool Problems!

Arizona Pool Remodeling and Service has been in business for over 10 years, and with a decade of experience comes a lot of advice, tips and tricks when it pertains to taking care of a pool. Here is where you will find all of our expert advice on general pool questions, pool chemicals, how a pool affects your health, maintenance tips and remodeling your pool.

People with the feet in pool from underwater

CHEMICALS



Chlorine in swimming pools kills germs, but it’s not immediate. Properly disinfected pools kill most germs within minutes. However, it takes longer to kill some germs such as Cryptosporidium that can survive for multiple days.

Be aware that some things can reduce the chlorine levels in your pool. Examples are; sunlight, dirt, debris, and material from swimmer’s bodies.

Let the chemicals disperse in your pool first; this generally takes fifteen minutes to an hour. If your pool was shocked, wait until the chlorine levels have dropped.

The recommended amount is weekly testing. But for optimal results, test your pH and chlorine levels bi-weekly. Keep in mind, chlorine should be fed continuously to your pool through a chemical feeding device.

Always check the expiration date on your pool chemicals; ones that have expired should be discarded. Remember to always through away your leftover chemicals in a responsible way.

Yes. Chlorine sanitizers are safe when used in accordance to packaged directions that have been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Test: pH Range: 7.2-7.6
Test: Total Alkalinity Range: 120-150 ppm
Test: Calcium Hardness Range: 200-250 ppm (Gunite)
Test: Calcium Hardness Range: 175-225 ppm (Vinyl)
Test: Free Chlorine Range: 1-3 ppm
Test: Free Bromine Range: 3-5 ppm
Test: Copper Range:0 ppm
Test: Range:Iron 0 ppm

Routine shock treatments are necessary to destroy water contaminates. Hairspray , suntan oil, cosmetics and other materials react with chlorine and cause eye and skin irritations. This mixture can also cause an unpleasant chlorine odor.

A strong chlorine smell often times means that chlorine needs to be added to your pool.

HEALTH



Contaminated and an unkempt swimming pool can spread germs that cause recreational water illnesses (RWIs). RWIs cause a wide variety of symptoms, including skin, ear, respiratory and eye infections.

To protect yourself, your children and other swimmers from RWIs, follow these six recommendations from the CDC:
1. Don’t swim when you have diarrhea. This is especially important for kids in diapers.
2. Don’t swallow any pool water. It's important to not get any pool water in your mouth.
3. Shower before swimming and make sure to wash your hands after using the restroom or changing a diaper.
4. Take bathroom breaks often or check your children's diapers.
5. Change diapers in a bathroom, not poolside. Germs can easily spread to surfaces and objects in and around the pool area.
6. Wash your child/children thoroughly with soap and water before swimming. This is an extra precaution to take to ensure the health of you and other swimmers.

Swimmer’s ear isn’t completely avoidable but there are extra steps that you can take to protect yourself and your children. There is great information on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Center for Disease Control Website

These unpleasant conditions signify that the pool water has not been properly treated. A common cause for these ailments are high levels of chloramines. They are formed when chlorine combines with body oils, perspiration, urine and other contaminants brought into pools by swimmers.

Palm Tree next to pool with mountains in background
Two Girls looking at camera underwater in swimming pool

MAINTENANCE



The majority of pumps will have a longer lifespan if they run continuously. The stopping and starting motion is what takes a toll on the motor.

If you only want to swim during the hot months, then you don't need a heater. If desired to swim all months of the year, it is advised that you purchase a pool heater. There are many efficient opportunities out there, ask us what we would recommend.

No, it's not necessary. Pools are able to handle cold temperatures better when somewhat filled with water. A drained pool has the ability to crack or pop out of the ground from the pressure of ground water.

Chlorine in swimming pools kills the germs that may make people sick, but it's not immediate. Chlorine in properly disinfected pools kills most germs that cause RWIs within minutes. There are some germs that can lost longer than a few days even in a properly cared for swimming pool or spa.

It’s possible for dirt, rust and other minerals to stain your plastered pool. If it’s an organic stain, such as leaves, granular chlorine can be added to the location. Let it settle and the stain will usually be removed.

It’s important to never place chlorine tablets directly into your swimming pool. They can and will stain and etch the pool plaster. Acid washing is usually a more aggressive approach to removing stains on a plastered pool.

A nice leaf rake comes in handy for this situation. There are chemical products on the market, that can keep surface tension high, which moves small debris to the sides of the pool.
A possible problem could be the skimmer. It's important to make sure your pool is operating properly so it draws debris into the skimmer basket.

It’s a good idea to be cognizant when building a pool that there are no trees or plants nearby that have wide-reaching roots. Roots have the ability to be very destructive. They may damage swimming pools, which in turn can be very expensive repairs. A general rule of thumb is to plant trees or plants at least eight feet from the edge of your swimming pool or spa.

Calcium deposits can originate from grout or setting mortar. To remove calcium, scraping it off is the best method. Another technique for removing calcium deposits is pumice stone. Ask us for more detail.

Evaporation rate depends on the surface area of the pool, temperature, and relative humidity with wind. "Splash-out" water is a more significant source of water loss than evaporation. Alert us if you think your swimming pool is losing a significant amount of water and we will do an evaporation test to determine a solution.

When the pool is installed, salt is initially added to the swimming pool. Top-up salt is required to maintain lost salt through water splash-out, rain overflow, filter back flushing, leaks in the pool etc. It’s important to note, evaporation doesn’t reduce the salt level nor is salt consumed in the saltwater system process.

Weekly testing is okay for general backyard, swimming pools. Although, we recommend that you test your pH and chlorine levels at a minimum of twice per week. Chlorine should be fed continuously through a pool, chemical feeding device to maintain consistent levels.

We recommend that you refill your hot tube every 8 weeks on average. If the hot tub isn’t used quite as often, you could stretch that timeframe out to 12 weeks between water changes. Maintaining regular water changes will help guard against possible heater coil corroding.

The answer to this varies on your swimming pool usage, proper maintenance of chemicals and the usage of hard water. Generally, acid-washing is recommended every two to seven years. In areas where water is hard, yearly draining is necessary. Ask us if you are concerned.

In fresh-water pools or spas, salt is added to the water to produce a salinity of approx. 3000 ppm (parts-per-million). This makes it 1/12th as salty as the ocean, or 1/3rd as salty as human tears.

Avoid using any type of acid that you would normally use on clay house bricks. First, try scrubbing with a firm brush and regular kitchen, dish soap. If the stain is still prevalent, paver supply companies usually carry cleaning solutions that are safe to use on pavers. If none of these work, remember that the stained pavers can always be individually be replaced.

A cloudy pool can often mean that the pH is not in proper range; high amounts of calcium or the filter needs to be cleaned. Confirm that all the levels are within the proper range, and then for secondary measurement, clean the filter.

Taking the time to brush your pool regularly will keep dirt from occupying small pores, and avoid organic farms of buildup. Algae brushes are very effective, these steel bristled brushes can be found at any pool cleaning company. Note: never use a steel brush on a vinyl-lined pool.

When brushing is done a regular basis, it can reduce the amount of time spent vacuuming. Start brushing at the shallow end, making your way towards the deep end in overlapping strokes. Circle the pool towards the main drain, to effectively sweep dirt into the filter.

The answer is no, the salinity is not high enough to cause corrosion. The water salinity is similar to that of eyewash solution.

Automatic cleaners help increase the chances of your pool always being in swim ready condition! There are different brands and kinds of automatic pool cleaners, and you are more than able to find one that suites your needs. Plus, they take an amount of pool cleaning stress off your shoulders.

Your pool lighting should be checked occasionally to ensure that your bulbs are operating correctly. If bulbs become burnt out, that can overload other fixtures.

A strong chlorine smell most often means that chlorine needs to be added to your swimming pool. High levels of chloramines emit a strong odor, and these form when interacting with contaminants, such as sweat and body oil.

Routine shock treatments are necessary to destroy any water contaminates that lessen the effectiveness of the disinfectant. Contaminates such as suntan oil, cosmetics, or other organic materials react with chlorine causing skin irritations and an unpleasant smell.

REMODELING



Yes, it is possible to change the depth of your pool. You can raise the deep end to match the shallow end and it’s possible to make the shallow end deeper. Either choice is possible, it must be done in conjunction with a new liner or pool finish.

Yes, changing the shape of a swimming pool is possible. However, the more drastic the change in shape, the more the project will end up costing. For a more affordable route, add new updated pool options. Ideas for this would be new steps or more lighting.

Yes the pump and filter can be moved. The best time to do this is when a renovation is taking place. We recommend putting the filter and pump in a location where it isn’t visible or too far away to be heard.

Let your ideas run wild! Almost anything can be added to your swimming pool area. More popular additions are; custom finishes, tile, decking, coping, lighting, water features, and specialty features. These are rock waterfalls, vanishing edges, raised spas with spillways, swim-up bars and underwater bar stools.

The length of time it will take to complete your pool-remodeling project relies solely on the scope of work that is going to be performed. We can give you a better time estimate once we decide on the project(s) being performed.

If you are debating a pool, there can be extreme projects or just minor finishing touches. Options you can consider are; updating pool tiles, re-doing the surrounding deck and patio area, installing energy saving swimming pool systems, refurbishing cracked or stained gunite, adding lighting or a hot tub area.

Also when you remodel, make sure to complement your home's architectural design to create a beautiful, seamless landscape.

Safety handrails are a product that homeowners should use in conjunction with pool barriers. They can be installed in any area around the swimming pool. Handrails promote proper techniques for getting in and out of the swimming pool and can help children and older swimmers. So it is up to your personal preference on whether you want to install them or not.

Here are a few ideas, but once again all of these features are a personal preference. Adding waterfalls, fountains, rock formations (natural and faux rocks), more lighting features, pavers, outdoor kitchen area, and spas. All of these can make a significant addition to any swimming pool area. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

The answer to this question varies depending on where you live. A pool remodel is possible year-round in milder climates. Pools are generally not used as much in the wintertime, and you won’t have to miss out on pool season. So in essence, schedule a pool remodel when you don’t plan on using your pool area.

Renovations are often quite dusty. We suggest outside items, decorative, toys, plants, and furniture, to be moved away from the remodeling site until it reaches completion. Also, don’t forget to shut the windows and doors to your house to avoid dust particles from entering your home.

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