It is never to late to put in place new systems to make your pool business run more efficiently.
In our pool business customers experienced so much confusion over swimming pool openings. We felt we had to define every aspect not only for our customers but also for our employees taking the calls. Customers would call in daily asking why something was or wasn’t done during the opening. I have listed below 8 questions we would get most often related to our pool opening services and how we would answer each question.
- Why does the water in my pool look worse after it was opened?
After sitting dormant all winter, it is impossible to predict how any pool will react to start-up chemicals or turning on the pump. Dust, organic matter in decay, pollen on the cover, etc… are just a few components of swimming pool water that have not been chemically treated or filtered for months. A properly functioning filter system and chemical treatment will usually clear up even the worst pools in 3-5 days.
- Why was my pool not vacuumed?
Pool vacuuming is only included with the deluxe pool opening package. When your pool is opened we can only vacuum what we can see. If your pool is green or cloudy we are unable to see the bottom to vacuum the day it is opened. In many cases, the bottom of the pool may be covered in a fine powder of dead algae, rust or iron that has dropped to the bottom of the pool. Our regular pool vacuum would only suck up the fine powder and blow it back out into the pool. In this situation we would need to vacuum the bottom of your pool to waste sucking up all the fine powder and wasting it directly out into the yard. We can do this with our pump cart but vacuuming a pool to waste could take 1 – 2 hours. We charge $85.00 for each extra hour we are there vacuuming the bottom of the pool to waste. The customer is responsible for re-filling the pool back to normal operating level. We could leave the hose running but we recommend you turn on the hose when you return home. All of this will be communicated to you prior to any work being done. You may call us for help clearing your pool. We also recommend bringing in a water sample to our store.
- What if my tarp pool cover or my Fox Lock-In cover is full water, leaves, and debris?
We recommend pumping the water off of the cover using a sump pump and removing the leaves and debris with a pool net prior to our crew arriving to open your pool. Because of the extra time it takes to remove the water and debris during the opening other charges will be applied. For all tarp covers or Fox Lock-In Pool Covers we must have a credit card number be kept on file. We charge $125.00 per hour for draining water, netting leaves & debris, cleaning, removing and storing your pool cover. You can save this money by completing this work on your own.
- Do I need to be present for my pool opening?
We discourage customers from taking time off of work and/or arranging plans to be present at the pool opening. We do this for many reasons, one being that every morning we arrange the best economic route possible. This saves time and gas getting from one place to another. We do not work on timed appointments.. Why? Because we often run into problems such as repairs, leaks, electrical problems, or inclement weather at each stop. All of these things take extra time and will change our route/timeline for the day. Our main goal is to be as convenient and simple as possible and for that reason we are unable to make timed appointments or guarantee a specific date for our openings or closings. In your pool opening packet we requested that you fill your pool up to normal operating level, give us a contact phone number, and leave any notes that we need to know. By completing those tasks we are able to give you the best service possible. On your pool opening form please select the week you would like your pool opened. Our staff will contact you the day before that we are coming to open you pool.
- What products work best for my salt pool?
We recommend Natural Chemistry’s Salt Water Magic Kit. This product will help to extend the life of your salt generator by reducing the common maintenance problems. Another product would be installing an Anti-Electrolysis Skimmer Basket Weight in the skimmer basket. This product will stop metal erosion on pool walls and hand rails that are often caused by the high salt content and electrolysis in the salt cell. Natural Chemistry’s Scale Free prevents calcium and mineral scale build-up, controls staining, and protects the salt generator cell.
A new product called PEPPER by API is designed to prolong the life of the salt generator, prevent scale buildup, improve sanitizer effectiveness, greatly enhance water clarity, limit troublesome pH fluctuations, prevent scale buildup in the cell, pool equipment and surfaces, help maintain low phosphate levels, and increase the life and performance of the salt cell. PEPPER is compatible with all pool surfaces and equipment plus there is no waiting to swim. After the first application, most salt water generators can be operated at lower settings. Use Pepper weekly to keep your salt water swimming pool perfectly seasoned!
- When do I add chlorine to my pool?
Do not add chlorine to a freshly filled pool. You must add a sequestering metal remover first to filter the metals. Please allow the filter to run for 24-48 hours before backwashing the filter. After backwashing the filter you can begin to introduce chlorine into the pool.
- Why is my heater dripping and feel as if it is not heating the water?
It is common for heaters to create heavy amounts of condensation as thousands of gallons of cold water pass through super-heated heat exchanger tubes. Small fittings on heaters will initially leak but will then seal themselves as warmer temperatures cause parts to expand. If the drips do not subside within 48 hours, please contact us for a follow-up service call. We recommend installing a heater bypass manifold on the heater. This will allow you to bypass the heater during pool startup, when adding aggressive chemicals, and when you are not using the heater. A bypass manifold could double the life of your pool heater. Water does not need to be flowing thru the heater 24/7 all season long.
- How can I speed up the process of preparing my pool to be swim ready after my pool is opened?
- First, your pool will not be swim ready the day your pool is opened. Your pool water has been dormant for months and will not be safe to swim in until it is chemically treated and balanced.
- Check your filter system and clean your pump basket several times daily until the water is clear.
- Continue to run the system 24 hours a day. Continuous filtration is important, especially when starting up a system.
- Empty skimmer baskets daily.
- Don’t skimp on Chlorine. Your pool must reach break point chlorination to maintain a residual of free chlorine. Sometimes it can take 2-3 times testing water and adding chlorine daily to reach the required chlorine level.
- Purchase a Taylor Test Kit. Electronic testers often give inaccurate results in extremely cold water.
- Now is the time to test and adjust for CYA.. High Cyanuric Acid levels will cut the effectiveness of chlorine. 30PPM of CYA = 2.25 PPM of chlorine being the starting point. CYA of 100PPM or greater = 7.25 as the zero starting point of chlorine. Many people do not realize this when testing water in a pool store and wonder why their pool is not clearing after shocking the pool over and over. Lowering the CYA level requires draining the pool and adding fresh water. DO NOT drain your pool all the way. Accomplish this by draining 2-4 inches at a time and refilling with fresh water. Repeat this process over the summer season. You can also switch to liquid chlorine or Granular Calcium Hypochlorite Chlorine. Both of these do not contain Cyanuric Acid and will not cause your CYA levels to increase over time.
- Brush and vacuum the pool surfaces at least once a day until the water is clear OR buy a robotic pool cleaner that will come on daily to clean & scrub the bottom and walls of your pool.
- Backwash your sand filter as soon as the pressure rises by 5-8 PSI
- Bring a water sample into our store 24 hours after the pool is opened. We will test & analyze your water.
- Test your water at home using a Taylor K-2006C-FAS Test Kit. This kit will easily and quickly tell you how much chemical to add.
- Be sure you are testing for phosphates. By eliminating phosphates from your pool water you greatly reduce any chance for any algae issues.
I hope this FAQ list helps you in your pool business. Let us know if you have anything to add by commenting below. Everyone has their own processes. We love hearing from our readers.