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!

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