Getting Your Pool Ready for the Winter Season

You do not have to look at a calendar to know that winter is nearly here. The days are growing shorter, the temperatures have dropped from sizzling to merely warm, and your pool water is heading towards being chilly again! Of course, as we move further into the season, the pool becomes more decorative as the cooler nights lower the water temperature even further. Before long, your swimsuits will be washed and tucked away in the back of your closet and Christmas celebrations will replace pool parties, but if you want to keep your pool in prime condition for next year, there is a little more you will need to do. We at New Image Landscape and Pools are here to help. This guide to getting your pool ready for the winter season will ensure your pool will be ready for that first dip of the 2021 pool season!

First Winter with Your New Pool?

Pools are pretty low maintenance in the winter, as we dirty humans are not spoiling the crystal clear waters with oils and dirt and the sun does not burn off the chlorine as quickly as it does in the summer, but there are still some things you will need to do to keep it looking as gorgeous as it does today. It’s time to reduce the filter pump run time, which will benefit your wallet as well! Who does not enjoy smaller electric bills? If you are curious as to why, the answer is simple: Cooler waters create a less friendly host to bacteria and algae, so there is no need to expend any extra energy!

Like a Teeter Totter

In the winter months you will discover that your chlorine demand lowers, but the pH demand rises (like a teeter totter), requiring you to keep an eye on the levels. Adding muriatic acid will keep the pH levels in check. In the summer, chlorine demand rises and pH and alkalinity lowers, as to be expected. In any case, the recommended levels run between 7.4 and 7.6. When adding muriatic acid to adjust pH, try not to add more than two cups of acid to the pool in a 24-hour period. Remember, however, these chemicals can be dangerous when mishandled, so be mindful of wet and cold days when adding the acid. The chemical can react with the moisture in the air, creating a mist that is extremely dangerous when inhaled, so wait until the weather becomes sunny and dry again to ensure safety when correcting the pH levels. Another helpful winterizing tip involves getting your alkalinity healthy before summer starts, helping you maintain a more consistent pH level. This is achieved by adding sodium bicarbonate, a substance which you may recognize by its more common name of baking soda. In doing so, you will prevent your alkalinity levels from being thrown out of whack.

Servicing Your System

We are human, and as we go into our backyards less, we tend to forget that maybe our pool might need some extra care. Out of sight and out of mind, they often get neglected, but you can lessen the damage by thoroughly servicing your system before winter begins! Flushing out your filter is the first step, followed by cleaning out your pump and skimmer baskets, and finishing up the service by balancing the chemicals to proper winter levels is a simple way to keep it clean, clear, and issue-free the entire season. The best levels will be as follows: Chlorine should 1.5 parts per million, pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6, and the alkalinity should be as close to 80 parts per million as possible.

Put It on Your Calendar

If you follow these tips, your pool should be nearly maintenance-free during the winter months, but that does not mean you can completely ignore it. Although we do not have them often in the desert, storms can blow debris into the pool, clogging baskets and your automatic pool cleaner and messing with the chemical levels. To avoid unwelcome surprises on that first warm day of the year, you can add pool check to your Google calendar, setting the timer to go off at a time when you know you will be home from work!

Keep Your Yard in Shape All year

Although these next steps involve winterizing your yard more than the pool, it does not hurt to check them off your winter to-do list as well. This is the perfect season to clean and cover your furniture, paint the trim on your gazebo, and do any necessary repairs to pool equipment or even the pool deck. Give us a call today and let’s work together on the process of winterizing your pool!

Getting Your Pool Ready for Winter

There are many great things about living in the Phoenix area: wonderful weather, swimming seasons that last far longer than most other places, and, if you own a pool, not a lot of maintenance is necessary to get your pool ready for the “harsh” winter months that lie ahead! There are a few pool maintenance things, however, that will help extend the life of your equipment and keep your pool running crystal clear through the sunny days of winter, anxiously awaiting the day that you will dip your toes into its cool waters once again!

Pool Maintenance You Won’t Need to Do

First on the list is what you DON’T need to do when preparing your pool for the winter season. You won’t have to run the pump nearly as long as you do during the heat of summer, which in turn lowers the effect the pump has on your monthly utility bills! You also won’t need to use as much chemicals as you do in the summer—but be sure to keep an eye on the acidity of your pool; the pH demands tend to rise in colder weather and more acid will be needed.

What to Do When Temperatures Drop

If the pool’s total dissolved solids are in the high range, chances are it’s time to empty and refill; pools should be emptied every other year, and this is the perfect time to do so, as the surface of the pool won’t be damaged when exposed to the cooler weather. If your pool floor is stained, this time of year is when you can acid wash to help the pool return to its former glory. When summer rears its ugly head once more, your backyard oasis will be more than ready to do its job of keeping you cool and happy—even on the hottest days of the year!

Things to Watch for Over the Winter Months

Pools with heaters allow you to extend the swimming season, but when it’s time to turn on those heaters, you need to check a few things in the cabinet of your heater first. Rodents and rabbits love dark and cozy places to raise their young, and a pool heater cabinet can be just like a luxury condo! Colorful wires make soft beds and sharp rodent teeth will chew them easily, so be sure to doublecheck that nothing has moved into your heater! Also, check the top cover of the heater for leaves and other debris and clear off any that is found; a fire can and will start if this step is skipped, and the consequences can be catastrophic.

Give Us a Call Today

We at New Image Landscape and Pools can help keep your pool in tip top shape so it will be ready for you when bikini weather rolls around once again! Call us today for all the help you need with your pool and tips for winter pool maintenance.

How to Keep Your Pool Chemicals Balanced

Whether you have just purchased a home with a pre-existing pool or you have just completed the building process of your brand new one, the number one fear most pool owners have is how to keep the pool looking clear, blue, and clean without having to do a lot of work! We understand completely. A pool with unbalanced chemicals is more than just an unsightly mess; it can bring along a host of problems that include odors, insects, and sickness. But if you follow these special tips our wonderful staff at New Image Landscape and Pools have provided for your convenience, you’ll soon discover pool ownership is even better than you dreamed it could be with the proper pool maintenance!

Start with a Clean Base

Maintaining a chemically balanced pool can be difficult if the water is old. There are different schools of thought as to how often a pool should be drained, but we think it should be drained at a minimum once every other year. Starting with a clean base allows the chemicals to do their job, which makes your job easier!

Frequent Testing

Department stores, grocery stores, and pool stores all sell testing kits that make it easy to determine if your chemicals are balanced. Simply dip the tester in the water and add the drops that come with the kit and compare the color of the water against the chart provided. Also have your water tested for total dissolved solids; without testing and treatment, the water soon becomes unmanageable! Checking your levels frequently allows you to keep ahead of any problems instead of trying to play catch-up with a green pool.

Keep the Pump Well Maintained and Running Enough Hours

Keeping the pump well maintained and running is as important as using the correct chemicals. Remember: The number of hours you run your pump will change with the seasons! In the summer when the temperatures are high and your family is spending a lot more time enjoying the benefits of its cooling waters, the pump should be run more frequently—approximately one hour per 10 degrees of ambient temperature during the heat of the day to keep algae from flourishing. In the winter months, running just a few hours a day is all that will be needed to keep your pool balanced and clean.

Contact a Professional 

When all else fails, contact a professional! We at New Image Landscape and Pools want our customers to be happy with their new pools, and if we built yours, we will be happy to guide you through the process! Give us a call today and let’s figure out together what we can do to help with your pool maintenance to keep your pool balanced and your family happy.

Winterizing Your Pool in Arizona

For many pool owners in America, the approach of fall means it is time to shut the pool down for the winter. Here in Arizona, winter has a different meaning, but if you aren’t going to use your pool very often during the winter, you may want to shut it down, as keeping it open year-round requires extra maintenance. Maintaining proper pH levels can be more difficult during the winter, as the colder temperatures can cause these levels to increase much more quickly. Here is out guide on winterizing your pool.

Balancing Your Pool’s pH Levels

Balancing the pH levels in your pool is extremely important. If you don’t, your pool could develop stains and algae could begin to grow, which can cause many different problems. You should check your pool’s pH levels about once a week. If you would like help with checking your pool’s pH levels, we offer weekly pool maintenance services. Once you’ve properly balanced your pool’s pH levels, you can cut down on the amount of chlorine you put into your pool. Ultraviolet rays from the sun help evaporate the chlorine in your pool. During the winter the sun’s rays aren’t as strong, so you don’t need to add chlorine as often.

Covering Pool

There are several advantages to covering your pool during the winter. Pool covers prevent chlorine from evaporating out of the water as quickly since the sun’s UV rays will not be directly hitting the water. Pool covers are also useful in keeping your pool free of debris. Before you put the cover over your pool, you want to make sure all debris is out of the water. You should do this by using a pool skimmer, vacuum, and brushes.

How to Winterize Your Pool

The first thing you will want to do when winterizing your pool is to check your pool’s chemical levels. This includes the pH level, calcium hardness, and chlorine levels. Once you have adjusted the chemical levels in the water, you will want to make sure the pool is completely clean. You’ll want to brush, vacuum, and skim the sides and bottom of the pool as well as scrub any oils off the pool tiles. Make sure to also clean out the skimmer basket, filter, and pump basket.

Our Pool Maintenance Services

If you would like help with preparing your pool for the winter, or with weekly maintenance and chemical level balances, we offer pool maintenance services. We have been working on pools in the area for more than three decades and can help you with all of your pool upkeep and maintenance needs. For more information, please contact us today!

5 Arizona Pool Maintenance Tips To Know

When summer rolls around in Arizona, we ALL start dreaming about having a pool in our backyard. The heat can be too much in the desert, and nothing cools you off faster than a quick dip or an extended stay on a raft. For those of us who already have one, our summers revolve around the almighty pool. From pool parties to nighttime swims, we can’t get enough of that cool blue water-filled hole, but maintenance fears can often stop us from adding one to our yard. Because we don’t want you to miss out on the one yard item that can save your sanity each summer, we’re going to teach you five things you never knew about Arizona pool maintenance.

Automated Systems Make It Easier

Gone are the days where you spent most of your off-time cleaning and maintaining your system; today’s pool technology makes it easy! Timers turn on the pumps during cheap hours, pool cleaners creep along the bottom picking up the most debris, and aerators or waterfalls keep the water cooler for longer!

Variable Speed Motors are Much More Efficient than Single Speed Motors

Powered by earth magnets, they last longer because they don’t produce heat and they save you money, as they use much less electricity. Savings can pay for itself in three seasons and if you’re new to Arizona, you’ll appreciate that after you’ve experienced a few summer electric bills!

Drain Your Pool At least Every Other Year

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are solids left behind by the evaporation of the pool; when left unchecked, they can make it more difficult to maintain the proper chemical balance and can shorten pool equipment life.

Chemical Levels

Keeping pH (hardness of the water) and alkalinity (softness of the water) balanced is as important as maintaining proper chlorine levels.

Your Pool Will Still Need a Human Touch

Although technology has lessened the pool owner’s burden when it comes to pool maintenance, there will still be things that need to be done. Skimming the pool with a net, brushing the sides of the pool, and on saltwater systems, keeping the salt cell clean so it works efficiently.

New Image Landscape and Pools Can Take the Hard Work Out of Arizona Pool Maintenance

We happen to find the zen in pool maintenance, so if you aren’t willing, or aren’t able, to do the physical work yourself, give us a call and let us take care of your Arizona pool maintenance! Schedule an appointment today!

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!

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!

How to Choose Your Pool Sweeper

A pool sweeper is a crucial piece of equipment that will greatly reduce the workload of maintaining the health and safety of your pool. However, pool owners are faced with so many options when looking to invest in a pool sweeper. This can often make the process very daunting and can muddle the prospect of the “right” decision. The good news is that there is no wrong decision in particular, even though certain pool sweepers will better fit the needs of different pools and individuals. Here is a guide to a couple of different types of pool sweepers.

Suction Side Pool Sweeper

This is the simplest type of pool sweeper that will allow you to cut down on cost and maintenance. This sweeper is attached to the suction line of your pool and it uses that suction to propel itself along the floor of your pool. As it moves, it scrubs the floor while sucking up debris and sending it through your pool filtration system. The only drawback of this technology is the fact that it only works when the pool pump is running and it increases the pressure that the filter endures.

Pressure Side Pool Sweeper

These sweepers are very similar to the suction side pool sweepers. They are driven by a pressure line that returns filtered water back to the pool. These sweepers are accompanied by their own filtration system so that it reduces pressure on the pool’s filtration system, but it can also require an additional booster pump. These sweepers are very beneficial in that they are low cost and they are easy to maintain but they also require a running pool pump to operate them.

Robotic Pool Sweeper

This technology can be very beneficial, as it has no reliance on your existing pool equipment. It runs off more efficient power from your home, which reduces the pressure on your pool equipment and overall power required to keep your pool clean. These sweepers have much greater power and can sweep walls and suck debris from the floor to the steps to the waterline. The only drawback of this equipment is you must manually empty the filter. With this better performance, there is of course a much greater upfront cost, but the benefits surely outweigh that initial investment.

There are clearly benefits and drawbacks to each of these sweepers just as anything else in life. Each of these sweepers will keep your pool safe and clean but the key is to pick the one that makes the most sense for you and your pool.