The Importance of Shock in a Pool

You may have heard the term “shock” pool bandied about among pool owners. This is actually a very important aspect of pool maintenance. Shocking a swimming pool—also called super chlorination—is actually a very important step in pool management, so it’s important that you understand the when, why, and how of shocking a pool. Most pool owners don’t even think about shocking their pools until they step out and see either algae, cloudy water, or both. However, by shocking the pool, these issues can be avoided.

Why Do You Need to Shock Your Pool?

When people swim in the pool, organics and contaminants are introduced into the water through things like saliva, sweat, skin cells, body lotions, urine, and many other such things. Natural contaminants such as leaves and dirt can also contaminate the water. These substances are a food source for algae and bacteria. Using pool sanitizers (such as chlorine) can kill the bacteria/algae and breakdown contaminants.

Types of Pool Shock

Essentially, there are two different types of pool shock: chlorine and non-chlorine. When using chlorine, the levels of chlorine in the pool raised very high to destroy contaminants. When using this type of pool shock, you have to wait for the chlorine levels to lower to normal levels before you can use the pool. This can take time, and testing is required.

With non-chlorine treatments, potassium monopersulfate is used rather than chlorine. While it is effective at oxidizing contaminants, it will not kill bacteria. The main benefit of this type of pool shock is that you don’t have as long of a wait to use the pool afterwards.

Maintaining your pool’s proper chemical balance can reduce the need to shock your pool. And of course, this is done through regular maintenance and monitoring of chemical levels. However, you may find that even the best monitoring and care can cause issues with your pool. This can happen through heavy use, after a rain or windstorm, or even after a water change.

The professionals at New Image Landscape and Pools understand all the intricacies of caring for your pool and the times when it may be necessary to shock your pool. If you feel your pool needs a shock, or you just want more information about the proper maintenance and care, just give us a call.

Top Ways to Keep Your Pool Water Blue

We are finally coming out the other side of yet another hot summer in Phoenix. You and your pool are probably excited about the reduced strain that cooler temperatures bring. While the necessary consistency of pool maintenance is substantially lower during the winter, it is important to not forget about your pool altogether. There are certain pool upkeep practices that are always good to follow, but there are a few specific ones that become very important during the winter months. The following are some of the surest ways to ensure you have a beautiful and healthy pool all winter long.

Stay on Top of the pH Levels

Proper pH balance is one of the most fundamental aspects of a healthy pool. Maintaining these levels is the best way to keep the pool aesthetically pleasing throughout the winter and ease the transition as the temperatures rise next year. A healthy range is from 7.2 to 7.6. Checking the chemicals once a week, while intermittently adding chlorine as needed, is a good practice.

Do Not Over-Chlorinate

It is easy to find yourself in auto-pilot, adding three chlorine tablets every week, as is often necessary in the summer. But over-chlorinating your pool can be just as big of a problem as under-chlorinating.  During the winter in Phoenix, one tablet of chlorine per week will go as far as three per week during the summer. Testing your chemicals is the surest way to make sure you are adding the right amount of chlorine.

Maintain a Simple Cleaning Routine

While you can reduce the frequency of your pool cleaning routine, you still need to do it regularly. The most important aspect of any cleaning process is skimming the pool and removing any debris. Vacuuming the bottom of the pool for debris and scrubbing the sides of the pool are important as well, but not required as often.

Mid-Winter Shock

Shocking your pool is the quickest and surest method of sanitizing your pool. It is very important to not do this procedure very often, but doing it once in the heart of winter goes a long way in getting your pool through the end of winter so it is ready for swimming season.

Consider Covering Your Pool

Closing your pool for the winter is a process that requires a bit of work now, but will save you work throughout the entire winter. The basic steps for closing your pool are ensuring your chemicals are in balance and the pool is completely clean, then adding additional chemicals like an algaecide, granular chlorine, and metal control. Run your pool pump for a day or two and then cover your pool. There are many different types of pool filtration systems, so consult your owner’s manual to learn how to winterize your specific system.

While winter offers a bit of a break from the often-strenuous task of caring for your pool during the summer, there is still a bit of work to be done. If you stay on top of it, it will be a breeze to keep that pool water clear and beautiful throughout the winter!

How to Make Your Pool High-Tech!

Technology can be a wonderful thing. It can make our chores easier and allow us to spend more time enjoying our technology-driven playthings and less time maintaining them. Take your average backyard pool, for example. In the old days, we were lucky to have a kidney shaped pool with a single light and a single-phase pump circulating the pool, with no more than a 1.0 or 1.5 horsepower motor. Today’s technology, however, offers bells and whistles you never dreamed of, with most actions being controlled by a single app on your phone, computer, or tablet. Lower energy bills, colorful lights, and pools that clean themselves can be yours when you turn your pool into a smart pool with technology and automation.

Integrated into Your Smart Home System

A smart home plus a smart pool equals one very happy homeowner, and most automation systems will integrate with your smart home systems. The automation total control system will replace your traditional subpanel breaker box, with all the leading manufacturers making smart systems to automate their own equipment. Start with a variable speed pump, the latest and greatest ways to circulate, filter, and clean your pool while using less energy, thereby costing less money. These money savers are required by law in most states, including Arizona, California, and Nevada, and can be controlled by the smart app on your phone.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

The standard pool cleaners are water powered gadgets that randomly run around the pool only when the pump is circulating, but a robotic cleaner runs independent from the pool equipment, plugs into an outlet, maps out your pool, and never covers the same spot twice. They also do a better job at climbing and scrubbing the walls; the only downside is they won’t connect to your smart pool app. Some cleaners do have their own separate app, however, and can cost you anywhere from $800 to $1800 depending on the sophistication of the unit.

LED Lighting & Water Features

Advances in pool technology have also improved the lighting and water feature areas of your pool. LED lighting connects to your pool app and offers a variety of colors and modes that can be set to go on and off with timers controlled by your app. Smaller accent lights can be used in shallower and darker areas of your pool, thus illuminating them better for nighttime swimming. Finally, LED sheer descents provide a glasslike waterfall effect, and LED-lighted jets offer a pool lighting show that will amaze and awe your family and friends!

Let New Image Landscape and Pools Help You Make Your Pool Life Easier

Give us a call and let’s start a conversation about how smart technology can change your life!

Dealing with Algae: How to get Rid of Algae

As important as algae is to our ecosystems, you really don’t want it in your pool! These microorganisms make a pool look nasty—in small amounts they make a swimmer feel uncomfortable and slimy, while in large amounts they can lead to more harmful bacteria growing in pools. If your pool has algae, you need to deal with it!

What Kind of Algae Is it?

If you imagine algae as a green cloud in the water, you’re not wrong—but it comes in other forms too. This algae—called simply “green algae”—is the easiest to get rid of, which makes it nice that it’s the most common!

Yellow and black algae also exist, though they are less common. Yellow algae looks like mustard stains in a pool and grows in spots of the pool that don’t get much sun. Black algae is the most problematic of all pool algae—it takes the form of dark spots throughout a pool, and sets in roots that reach into the plaster or grout.

What Do You Need?

One of the most common ways of addressing green algae is with shock. If your pool water is light green, you’ll need to add double the shock to your pool—this amounts to 2 pounds of shock per 10,000 gallons, with more shock the darker green the pool. Remember to shock at night! Also, if you have an automatic chlorinator, do not pour shock through the skimmer—an ingredient in shock and a certain ingredient in most chlorine can great an explosive gas!

Another method for green algae is called “Flocing:” it requires an underwater vacuum and a chemical called “Flocculant.” Add the floc to your pool and circulate the water, following directions according to your chosen floc. The floc dissolves the algae, which settles on the bottom—then you vacuum it up. It’s hard work, but the results are quicker than shocking.

Yellow algae is dealt with similarly, but involves vacuuming whatever you can out of the pool first, then brushing the sides, and finally shocking at a higher dosage. Black algae is the same, except that the brush needs to be stronger and you skip the vacuuming. Black algae also may require especially strong chemicals. Always remember to clean out your filter and disinfect swimsuits if you discover algae!

Algae Solutions from New Image Landscape and Pools

If your algae is becoming a recurring problem, talk to us at New Image to find a longer-term solution! We can upgrade your pool equipment and even add automated features so that you don’t need to spend so much time cleaning. With our help, you’ll have a sparkling pool all year around with barely having to lift a finger!

Or if perhaps pool care has just become too much of a hassle, ask us about what you can do with the space instead. From pagodas to grilling stations, we’ve got all sorts of tricks up our sleeves to transform that pool space into something beautiful and low-maintenance!

Pool upgrades, pool replacement, we do it all! Call us at 480-654-4422 and we can start weighing your options!