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!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Should you paint your pool?

At some point, every gunite pool will need to be resurfaced. This poses the question of which product to use to make the pool look new again. Painting a swimming pool is a quick, affordable way to make the interior surface look clean and fresh, but is this always the best idea?

Before committing to this option, it is best to look at all of the pros and cons involved to make sure you are making an informed decision. Listed below are a few considerations to keep in mind when choosing between pool paint and plaster:
  • Painting a pool generally costs about half the price of a re-plaster with white marcite.
  • Generally, you will get no warranty on pool paint.
  • Once painted, the pool will have to be re-painted every 2-4 years.
  • Over time, paint can chalk and leave a cloudy residue in the water.
  • If you should decide to re-plaster after the pool is painted, the paint will need to be completely removed before new plaster is applied.
Although budget constraints can be a key deciding factor in deciding between paint and plaster when resurfacing a pool, take a moment and make sure you are making the correct decision long-term. Weigh all of the pros and cons before committing to paint. If your pool needs resurfacing, call your local ASP – America’s Swimming Pool Company professional for more information about all of the available options for your pool. If you are unsure if there is an ASP professional in your area, visit our Locations page and make the call today.

Friday, August 8, 2014

What are the most common reasons that swimming pool water may cause your eyes to burn?

There is confusion about what exactly causes someone’s eyes to burn when swimming in a pool. Most people believe that if their eyes are burning while swimming in a pool, then it is due to the chlorine in the pool. In reality, there are two more common reasons that can cause eye irritation when swimming in a pool.

The first reason for eye discomfort is due to the pH of the water in the swimming pool. The acceptable ranges for pH, as regulated by each states Department of Health, falls within 7.2 to 7.8 range. These ranges are important for several reasons. When the water is within this pH range, then the water is in balance and it has a less detrimental impact on the pool and the pool equipment. Most importantly, when the pH is within this range and balanced it is more comfortable for the swimmer’s eyes. The reason for this is because the pH of the human eye is 7.4. Therefore whenever the pH range is either low (more acidic water) or high (more basic water) then this typically causes discomfort to the human eye. This principle is similar to balancing the pH in baby shampoos to protect the baby’s eyes during bathing.

The second reason for eye discomfort is due to the lack of chlorine. Combined chlorine is what happens when chlorine is being locked up by organic waste and is rendered useless in the swimming pool. When this happens, chloramines are produced, which has a distinct odor similar to the smell of chlorine. These chloramines also cause eye irritation. The next step to eliminate this problem is by simply adding more chlorine to the water. The goal is to reach breakpoint chlorination by adding the necessary dosage of chlorine to eliminate the combined chlorine in the water, so that the free chlorine can effectively do its job and sanitize the water properly.

Of course, when the chlorine levels are too high, this can cause “bleaching” of swimsuits and skin, as well as eye irritation. To assure proper water chemistry with you swimming pool, it is recommended that you contact your local ASP – America’s Swimming Pool Company professional for further information on properly maintaining your swimming pool. If you don’t know which ASP location is closest to you, click over to our Locations page, where we have each of our locations listed.
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