Friday, November 21, 2014

Diagnosing Pool Pump Air Leaks

Are you dealing with a pool pump that will not stay primed? One common problem with swimming pool pumps is that they can begin to leak over time, even though pumps are supposed to be air tight. If you are working on a pump which has a clear pump lid, you should not see any air inside the pump basket. Small air leaks are common, and rarely do you come across a pump with no air in the pump housing. As the air leak develops and becomes larger, this can cause issues with keeping the pump at full prime, as well as circulation issues with the pool itself.



The most common air leak is typically found where the male adapter meets the front of the pump. Air leaks in this area are typically due to bad thread sealant. A bad valve stem on a three-way valve is also a common area for air leaks. Other sources for air leaks include a loose or old pump lid, a fault in the pump lid O-ring, and even the drain plugs on the pump. Regardless of where the leak is coming from, all air leaks will originate prior to the pump impeller.



Now that we know where the possible air leaks can be found, how do we locate the exact source? One air leak detection method, as odd as it sounds, is to use shaving cream (foam, not gel) to locate the air leaks. Evenly spread shaving cream over the possible leak points on the pump, as well as the plumbing. At the air leak, you will start to see the layer of foam dimple as it gets pulled into the system, revealing the location of the air leak. At this point, you know which parts need to be fixed or replaced. Once the area of the leak is identified, simply rinse off the shaving cream with a water hose.

Once you have identified where the pump may be leaking, we recommend that you consult with your local pool professional as they will be able to provide you with additional insight that may help you determine the next steps to repair the leaks in your swimming pool pump. To find your local ASP – America’s Swimming Pool Company professional, visit our Locations page and make the call today!

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Halloween Treat!

As a special Halloween treat, click over to our website and take a look at the new virtual tour of our campus!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Swimming Pool Leak Testing Methods

If you are a swimming pool owner, you have either experienced the frustration of having a leak or it is just a matter of time before you do. Unfortunately, there are many places where a swimming pool could leak. It is important to understand the most common places that a pool may leak, and the process that you need to follow to help you narrow down the location of the leak. You may need to eventually call your local pool professional to repair the leak, but you can save some money on the front end by following the leak detection process below.

There are several common places that a swimming pool may leak. The pool may be leaking at the equipment pad, through the plumbing underground, or somewhere in the shell of the pool (like the pool light, wall returns, skimmer or main drain). However, it is important to first rule out evaporation as a possible water loss culprit. There are three steps to follow when determining where your pool may be losing water.

The Bucket Test

The first step is called the "Bucket Test." The "Bucket Test" will determine if water loss in a pool is due to evaporation or a leak. To run the "Bucket Test" yourself, follow these steps:
  • Bring pool water to normal level.
  • Fill bucket with pool water to about one inch from the top.
  • Place bucket on the first or second step of the pool.
  • Mark water level on the inside of the bucket.
  • Shut off the pump and mark the pool water level on outside of bucket.
  • Turn the pump on for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, compare the two water levels.
If the pool water, which is the outside mark on the bucket, goes down more than the inside water level, there is probably a leak. Document the water level drop in inches. If it rains during the period that you are running this test, then you will need to repeat the "Bucket Test."

The "24 Hours ON" Test

The second step is called the "24 Hours ON" test. Now that you have determined there is a leak by ruling out evaporation, you can properly determine if the leak is in the shell of the pool or if the leak is somewhere in the underground plumbing of the pool. Below are the steps for the "24 Hours ON" test:
  • Fill the swimming pool up so that the water level is mid-tile or mid-skimmer.
  • Mark the water level by placing a mark on the tile line or inside the skimmer shell.
  • Turn the pool pump on, but first make sure any auto fills are off.
  • Leave the pool pump running for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, return to the pool and observe the water level.
If the water level has dropped below the mark you made the previous day, then you may have a leak in the plumbing. Before moving on to the next step, you will need to check the “backwash line” while the pump is running in the filter position to make sure there is not water leaking out of that line. If you are losing water from the backwash line then you need to repair or replace your multiport valve on your filter.

The "24 Hours OFF" Test

The third step is called the "24 Hours OFF" test. Now that you have identified that you are losing water when the pump is running you must complete this final leak detection step. Below are the steps for the "24 Hours OFF" test:
  • Fill the swimming pool up so that the water level is mid tile or mid skimmer.
  • Mark the water level by placing a mark on the tile line or inside the skimmer shell.
  • Turn the pool pump off, but first make sure any auto fills are off.
  • Leave the pool pump turned off for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, return to the pool and observe the water level.
If the water level dropped below the mark the same amount as it did during the "24 Hours ON" test, then you now know that the leak is in the shell of the pool. If the water level did not drop, or only dropped a fraction of the amount it did during the "24 Hours ON" test, then you know that the pool is most likely leaking somewhere in the plumbing, not the shell.

Once you have identified where the pool may be leaking, it may be best to contact a leak detection expert and share with them your findings. We do recommend that you consult with your local pool professional as they will be able to provide you with additional insight that may help you determine the next steps to repair the leaks in your swimming pool. To find your local ASP – America’s Swimming Pool Company professional, visit our Locations page and make the call today!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thinking about closing your pool this winter?

  

Consider the Consequences.



Visual Effects: Your pool is the centerpiece of your backyard! Allow it to shine!


Cost Benefit : By keeping your pool open this winter, you will not incur a pool closing or pool opening expense.  Additionally, the pool water chemistry will be properly maintained, keeping it algae free this spring and not requiring the cost associated with a pool recovery.   Finally, your pool equipment will be better off.  Closing your pool runs the risk of having costly repairs to the pool equipment due to the equipment being shut down over several months.

Protect Your Investment: Studies show that when pools turn green it deteriorates the walls and bottom of your pool.  Studies also show that a closed pool can cut the life of your plaster in half or damage your vinyl liner, due to improper water chemistry.


Safety: Floating pool covers are considered dangerous.  They are typically opaque and make it very difficult to see what is beneath them.  They often appear as if they can be walked on but will collapse under the smallest amounts of weight, even when being held down by sand bags or other weights placed around the deck.

Questions about what to do next?
Contact one of our trained swimming pool professionals for a free consultation.  Click here to find your nearest ASP location.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Mesh vs. Solid Safety Covers

When purchasing a swimming pool safety cover, a choice must be made between a mesh cover and a solid cover. Before making a decision, it helps to know the pros and cons of each one.

Mesh Safety Cover
A mesh safety cover is the less expensive of the two types. Mesh covers are lighter, allowing for easier installation and removal. Mesh covers also allow water to drain through while keeping large debris out of the pool. Once dry, any debris on top of the cover can be removed easily with a leaf blower. However, mesh covers do allow a small amount of light and UV rays to reach the pool. This can accelerate algae growth if the water gets low on sanitizer.

Solid Safety Cover
A solid cover is a more expensive option than mesh. Solid covers block 100% of sunlight and UV rays, while also keeping rain water and debris from entering the pool. Solid covers must be ordered with either a mesh drain panel or a cover pump. These will prevent water from collecting on top and causing a safety issue. You have a much better chance of opening your pool with clear water in the spring if you use a solid cover.

The choice between a mesh or a solid cover comes down to personal preference and budget. Either one can give years of service and keep the pool free of debris during the winter months. For more help deciding which cover is right for you, click over to our Locations page and call the ASP nearest you!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lighting Options for Your Swimming Pool

Over the years, lighting options for swimming pools have evolved and improved greatly. The three most common types are incandescent, fiber optic, and LED lights. Which one is best for you? This will depend on your budget and needs.

Incandescent lighting is the most common type for swimming pools. The bulb looks like one for a standard flood light. Incandescent lights are the least expensive of the three options here, and do a decent job illuminating the pool. These lights can be fitted with colored lenses to change the mood of the pool if necessary. Since incandescent lights are available up to 500W, they consume the most energy of the three.

Fiber optic lighting allows for an option to illuminate the pool with a variety of colors. The lighting source and electrical controls for this type of light are both above the water. Only the fiber and lens are in the pool. The brightness of fiber optic lighting is generally inferior to the other two options. Since this is the case, multiple lenses are needed to adequately light most pools.

LED lights are somewhat new to the swimming pool industry. Much like fiber optic lights, LED lights give a wide array of color options and are similarly priced as well. LEDs are the brightest of all three options, last the longest, and also use the least amount of energy.



For more help deciding which light is right for you, click over to our Locations page and call the ASP nearest you!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Problems with metal in your pool water?

Most people do not realize that they have metals in their water until an unsightly stain appears. Metal stains will commonly appear shortly after chlorine is added or after the swimming pool is shocked with granular chlorine. The two most common types of metal stains are from iron and copper, and are two of the most common metals that are tested when checking swimming pool water. Iron can cause rust-colored stains to develop on the finish of the swimming pool, while copper can cause the swimming pool finish or water to appear green. Copper can be found in many mineral systems, ionizers, as well as algaecides.

Typically, metals exist in every body of water. However, the source of the metal can be different from one body of water to the next. Some of the most common sources of metals in swimming pool water are likely sitting in your own back yard. Do you have a heater on your pool? The copper heat exchanger can break down due to a poor chemical balance, causing metal to enter the swimming pool water. Have you recently added an algaecide to the swimming pool? Many algaecides contain copper to help kill the algae that may be present in the water. The best way to prevent metals from entering the swimming pool water and causing stains is to keep your chemicals balanced within the recommended ranges at all times.


If you do have metals in your swimming pool water, you will need to use a small mount of sequestrant to prevent stains from forming. A sequestrant will bind to the metals in the water and prevent them from depositing, preventing unsightly stains. Sequestrants slowly break down in the pool, which means that adding a weekly or monthly dose of sequestrant will need to become part of your routine maintenance to help control the metal buildup and prevent issues in the swimming pool. If you’d rather not worry about having to check and maintain the chemical and sequestrant levels of your pool yourself, click over to our Locations page and call the ASP nearest you!
 
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