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Identifying Pool Stains!

Most pool stains occur when excess organic and/or metallic compounds and improperly balanced pool water meet.  Incorrect sanitizer, pH and alkalinity levels can set the stage for stain-causing debris and metals to wreak havoc on your pool surface.  

Common Sources of Pool Stains

Decaying organic debris such as leaves, berries and acorns can leave behind stains on the pool surface if not removed promptly.  In some regions, stains left by oak leaves are especially problematic.  Organic debris typically leaves brown stains caused by naturally occurring tannins.

Algae can tint the pool water (usually green) and also speckle the surface.  The three most common algae types are described by their respective colors – green, black or yellow (also called mustard).

Metals, such as iron and copper, are found naturally in water and their presence can be compounded by leaching from other sources such as residential plumbing, fertilizers, and pesticides.  Copper also comes from pool heaters which often have copper heat exchangers, and from pool algaecides.

The issue with metals is that water evaporates but metal does not, so the concentration of metals builds over time.  When the saturation point is reached, the pool water is not able to contain additional metal.  This is when metals begin to cleave to the pool surface and form stains.  Sequestering agents can help to keep metals in suspension to prevent staining but are not sufficient in some cases.

How to ID Stains

Stain identification can be tricky.  No doubt, you can find a lot of pictures online and try to compare your pool stain to others, but different compounds can cause similar looking stains.  So it is best not to guess.  Just to give you a primer, we’ll run down a list of different stains’ characteristics here and then go on to actual testing for stains.

Organics – will leave an impression in the shape of the offending debris, typically brown in color.

Green Algae – will tint pool water green and also speckle the pool surface.

Mustard (Yellow) Algae – So-named for its brown/yellow color, this algae has a wispy texture and grows in shady areas.

Black Algae – forms black speckles and clusters that will actually grow roots into the pool surface.

Iron – forms stains ranging from yellow to rust to dark brown.

Copper – can tint pool water blue at first before stains form on the surface which are commonly blue-green but can also be gray, black, brown.  Copper can stain purple as well when the cyanuric acid level is high.

Manganese –  found in well water in some regions, this metal can cause a purple tint to pool water and brown/black or purple stains on surface.

Testing for Stains

In most cases, the best way to correctly identify a pool stain is to use a stain id kit.  For iron, you can try a simple test first with vitamin C.  Hold a vitamin C tablet against the stained area for about 30 seconds and see if the stain gets lighter or disappears.  If it does, you have iron stains and can use ascorbic acid to treat.  If it doesn’t, you have at least ruled out iron.

Similarly, if you suspect a stain from leaves or other decomposed organic debris, you can hold a trichlor tablet on the stain to see if it lightens.  Chlorine will lighten organic stains but will not affect metal stains.  Shocking the pool to raise free chlorine is the way to get rid of those brown tannin stains.

For other stains, we suggest the Jack’s Magic Stain ID kit to be sure you treat for the correct problem.  Trying to guess and potentially treating for the wrong cause will cost you time and money and could create more problems.  The Jack’s Magic kit allows you to easily perform a series of topical tests by holding different stain solutions over the stain area.  Each test takes about one minute to complete.  Most of your time will be in preparation since your pool water first needs to be balanced to meet the proper levels for stain testing and treatment.

Once you see which stain solution worked best, you can follow up with the specific recommended treatment.  Remember, it might take repeated treatments in some cases but there is hope for restoring your pool.

Acid Wash

What is Acid Washing?

Many of our new customers have issues with staining at the bottom of their pool or have pools that have become taken over by algae due to poor winterizing, stagnant water or lack of pool care. A service that is especially helpful in these instances is acid washing your pool, often referred to as “drain & clean”.

What is acid washing?
Acid washing removes a thin layer of your plaster, gunite or Pebble-Tec to reveal a fresh surface. This removes algae, mineral, chlorine and even dirt stains from the bottom and sides of your pool. If your pool was poorly maintained in the past or has had stagnant water which turned into an algae bloom, algae and phosphates can become embedded in your pool’s finish, making it nearly impossible to get rid of. Acid washing your pool removes any algae or phosphates that are not otherwise removed with chemicals. When finished, the acid washing process gives your pool a clean, fresh new finish and clear, sparkling water.

How do I know if I need an acid wash?
Generally pool owners will want to acid wash their pools when unsightly stains start to occur from algae, minerals, chemicals or dirt. Another common reason to acid wash pools is if the water has not been well taken care of or stagnant which produces algae and water discoloration. Often times the amount of chemicals and labor used to bring the water back to normal can be pretty close if not more than the cost of an acid wash. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t see the bottom of your pool it’s time to acid wash.

Is acid washing safe?
Our service technicians have been thoroughly trained to ensure your pool will be safely drained and cleaned. Acid is applied in order to etch or take off a very thin layer of plaster, gunnite or Pebble-Tec. The acid is then carefully removed and the pool is filled with no harm to the surface of your pool. Keep in mind that acid washing does speed up the need to re-surface a pool, so pool owners should avoid acid washing more than once a year.

Please note – You may not need to acid wash your pool. See more of this alternative if your pool is NOT that bad. We highly recommend giving us a call and we will be more then happy to assist in determining if this is the case.

We only use our pool care professionals who are certified Vision Pools employees, not third party contractors. For more information give us a call at 407-696-6660

Pool Cleaning Systems – Salt vs Chlorine vs UV vs Ozone!

 

The purpose of any pool treatment system is to keep pool water clean and clear. However, not all systems offer the same features, required maintenance, price, health benefits and water quality.

To help narrow down your pool system search, we’ve listed the pros and cons of the five top pool systems: chlorine, salt, UV, ozone and Clear Comfort’s hydroxyl-based advanced oxidation systems.

Chlorinated systems

Chlorine pros:

Traditional chlorine has been the most common form of pool sanitation for nearly a decade. Chlorine is available in three forms: tablets, liquid, gas and granular. Through a chemical reaction, chlorine oxidizes contaminants in the water. Chlorine acts as a residual sanitizer so it can effectively sanitize the pool long after it’s been added to the water.

Chlorine cons:

While chlorine is generally the cheapest form of pool treatment, it also poses a high risk for chlorine-related health issues. When chlorine reacts with organic materials, like lotion, sweat, etc., it produces harmful disinfection byproducts. Disinfection byproducts can cause red eyes, asthma, allergies, dry skin, lung irritation, Lifeguard Lung and other serious health issues.

Aside from the health risks, many pool owners avoid chlorine because it can leave lingering pool odor, damage towels and swimsuits, requires manual handling and storing, and is toxic to our environment.

Saltwater systems

Saltwater pros:

Saltwater systems were introduced to the pool market in the 1980s and slowly became popular among pool builders, service providers and owners. Compared to traditional chlorinated pool systems, salt systems provided lower maintenance and had less noticeable harmful effects of disinfection byproducts. Many pool owners choose saltwater systems for the soft feel of the water.

Saltwater cons:

Despite popular belief, saltwater pools are not chlorine free. Instead of adding chlorine manually, saltwater systems produce low levels of chlorine from sodium chloride (NaCl). Since chlorine is still present in the pool, there are still disinfection byproducts in saltwater pools. Similar to chlorine, saltwater systems require manual handling and storage.

In addition, saltwater pools are corrosive to pool surfaces and equipment, like ladders, tiles, stones, lining, pumps, filters etc. Replacing equipment and putting a sealant to protect your pool surfaces can be a costly repair.

UV systems

UV pros:

UV systems work by flowing pool water over a UV bulb that the denatures bacterial DNA in the water passing over it. UV systems offer a reliable form of secondary sanitation by destroying chlorine-resistant microbes and other unwanted contaminants while reducing toxic chemical use.

UV cons:

UV systems essentially sterilize bacteria in the water so it can’t reproduce, but they still leave bacterial cells intact so they can potentially make their way back into the pool. Additionally, UV pool systems can only sanitize water and can’t oxidize it. Since UV systems only treat water as it passes through the system, they don’t provide continuous, residual pool sanitation. This is why UV systems require chlorine for a residual sanitizer, like chlorine or salt, in pool water at all times. Typically, it’s recommended for UV systems to keep 0.3ppm to 0.5ppm of chlorine in pool water.

Ozone systems

Ozone pros:

Ozone systems use an advanced oxidation process that injects ozone gas (O3) into the pool circulation system to oxidize pool contaminants and chlorine-resistant microbes. Ozone systems generate an electrical energy that breaks apart an oxygen molecule (O2) to create a chemical reaction that produces ozone. Ozone systems reduce the amount of chlorine needed and are up to 100 times stronger than traditional chlorine. Similarly to saltwater systems, ozone systems can make pool water feel softer.

Ozone cons:

Since ozone systems alone can’t provide complete, continuous sanitation they also require a residual sanitizer, like chlorine, in the pool water at all times. Additionally, ozone is a toxic gas that can accumulate in pool pump rooms and under pool covers. Ozone gas can be corrosive to rubber gaskets, covers and other pool equipment.

Clear Comfort’s hydroxyl-based advanced oxidation systems

Hydroxyl-based advanced oxidation pros:

Hydroxyl-based advanced oxidation systems treat ambient air to create hydroxyls that immediately oxidize unwanted organic contaminants. This is the only pool treatment method on the market that can oxidize and provide residual sanitation with a low-level of hydrogen peroxide. With complete residual sanitation, hydroxyl-based advanced oxidation systems can help home pools have a clean, soft-feeling, chlorine-free pool without disinfection byproducts. This technology can effectively destroy chlorine-resistant contaminants, without corrosion to pool equipment or materials.

Hydroxyl-based advanced oxidation cons:

Similarly to salt, ozone and UV systems, hydroxyl-based advanced oxidation systems require an occasional algaecide in outdoor pool settings. Due to the technology’s ability to both oxidize and residually sanitize water, the system costs a premium price compared to systems that only provide either oxidation or residual sanitation. Hydroxyl-based advanced oxidation systems provide premium water quality for pool owners that prioritize on health, feeling of the water and sustainability.

 

With any pool treatment method you choose, all residential pools will require six essential elements of pool maintenance: oxidation, pH control, alkalinity, algae control, physical cleaning and circulation.

If you don’t know where to start by making your pool system decision, think about the features and benefits that are important to you. Whether it’s price, ease of use, health, maintenance, environmental impact or feel of the water, there’s a pool system for every type of pool owner.

Overview of Pool Resurfacing – the Swim Solutions way!

Step 1 – Make a Decision!

Based on the look and feel you are looking to achieve, pick out your pool tile and finish from our samples.  This is an important step in the process and we would be glad to help. We have a large selection to choose from and have partnerships with other suppliers for more selection.

Step 2 – Drain

Once the tile and finish are selected, we will send a crew to prepare the site and drain your swimming pool and/or spa.  We will check and confirm that all lights are working.. We will then turn off all your equipment, and drop a sump pump into your swimming pool to begin draining it.

Step 3 – Prep

The second step involves the preparation process. These crews thoroughly prepare your pool surface by removing old damaged surface material and preparing it to receive the new surface material of your choice. This stage is the loudest and dustiest stage of the project. We will cover and protect your backyard area as much as possible. Whenever possible, we urge the removal of any patio furniture, pots and plants surrounding the pool area to another location. Our crews will take special care to ensure that your backyard is restored to the same clean environment as when they began the process.

Step 4 – Tile and Masonry

Now that your swimming pool has been prepped, you are ready for Step 3, where our highly skilled tile and masonry craftsman install your selected pool tile, glass, coping, and other decorative features. All details regarding your swimming pool and outdoor living space should be completed and documented before this step begins. All grout color or tile must be selected, and should you have any special design ideas or requests, these decisions must be finalized at this point. This process can take anywhere from 1 -2 working days.

Step 5 – Plumbing and Seal

The fourth step is to seal the plumbing to ensure that your pool is water tight and ready for your selected pool surface finish. We will also wash your pool shell at this time.

Step 6 – Pool Finish Material Installation

The fifth step involves the installation of the pool surface finish material you selected. Now your remodeled swimming pool really starts to take shape. This can be a 1-2 day process, depending on your material selection.

Step 7 – Acid Wash (optional depending on finish material)

If you have selected a Pebble, Hydrazzo, Beadcrete, or darker Quartz finish, it will be necessary to add the optional sixth step of an Acid Wash, a standard part of the process. Our crews are highly trained and skilled, and are able to perform this step in an efficient and safe manner.

Step 8 – Clean-up and Pool Fill

Once the specified material has been installed (and acid washed if needed), we will complete our general clean-up, and start to fill your pool. We request all homeowners to keep an eye on the water level as it fills, and turn the water off once the water level hits the middle of your waterline tile.

Step 9 – Initial Water Treatment/Surface Curing

The final step in the remodeling of your swimming pool, referred to as the Initial Water Treatment step, is one of the most important steps to be completed for the extended look and life of your new pool surface material. Once your pool is full of water again, several procedures need to be performed to allow the surface to cure as evenly as possible. This process requires regular monitoring and service during the first seven days of the curing process. If your pool service professional is not available, or would prefer not to perform these procedures, our team of trained professionals will be happy to perform the initial water treatment process.

Our crews, throughout the process of remodeling your swimming pool, take great pride in cleaning and removing all construction materials from your property each day of the project. A thorough and final clean up is performed at completion. If you have any questions about our process, please don’t hesitate to call or contact Swim Solutions (407-696-6660). Our team is here to help and support you in any way we can!

Benefits of Hiring the Services of a Pool Cleaning & Maintenance Professional

Whether you have an above ground, in ground or semi-in ground swimming pool, you probably enjoy many perks that most people who do not own pools only fantasize about.  You get to enjoy many health benefits of regular swimming as well as hours of entertainment especially during the summer right in your backyard.  These are only a few of the benefits that pool owners enjoy.

However, a swimming pool must be cleaned, maintained, and inspected constantly in order to keep the water clean, safe, and inviting to swimmers and anyone else who gets into the pool.  For this reason, many pool owners do spend a lot of time maintaining their pools; which can be exhausting especially for people who keep busy schedules.

If this is your situation, your best bet would be bringing in an expert to help you out from time to time depending on your schedule, budget, or both. Below are some of the benefits you will get from bringing in a professional pool cleaning and maintenance professional to take care of your swimming pool.

Professionals have the Expertise, Experience, and Proper Equipment

Even if you have the time and are willing to take care of your pool on your own, sometimes, there is only so much you can do to properly maintain a pool’s water quality and hygiene. Even the best workers cannot always be able to properly maintain your pool since they neither have the expertise nor the experience of a professional pool cleaner.

A pool cleaning professional will not only keep your pool hygienic but also inspect the water quality and perform leak detection tests to ensure that your pool always stays in top-notch condition. They are trained to detect and correct other pool problems that non-professionals would not easily notice.

You Will Save Time and Energy

Pool cleaning and maintenance can take up a lot of time and energy. If you lead a busy life and often strain to keep your pool clean, hiring a pool cleaning and maintenance professional once or twice a week can help. You can then be able to use the extra time to relax, catch up with family and friends or to pursue any other interests.

You Will Save Money

You may be wondering how spending money on hiring the services of a pool cleaning professional will save you money. Many expensive pool repairs and replacement costs can actually be avoided through early detection of smaller problems. For example, a defective pool filter or pump can ultimately damage the motor; which is quite expensive to replace. A professional pool cleaner will be able to detect problems early on and prevent them from escalating and necessitating a need for costly repairs in the future.

They will also clean, inspect and repair the pools filter, pump, and other parts of your pool using the proper equipment. This will extend the life of most of this pool equipment; preventing premature wear and tear. This will ultimately save you a lot of money on costly repairs that could have been avoided had they been detected early.

Are you looking for a reliable and affordable professional pool cleaning and maintenance service in Dr.Phillips, Orlando?

If you are in need of quality and affordable pool cleaning & maintenance services in Dr. Phillips, Orlando, Florida, give us a call today at 407-414-0300 and we will be delighted to be of service.  We will also be very happy to answer any questions you may have and help you out in any way we can. You can also fill our online details form and you expect to hear from us within 24 hours or less.

Vision Pools; We offer quality and affordable pool cleaning and pool maintenance services to clients in Dr. Phillips, Orlando, Florida and all the nearby areas.

Call us today. Ask for a Free No-Obligation Estimate!!

Sweeten Up Your Cleaning Routine

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