Pollen Problems

Spring is well on its way to us, bringing warmer weather, sunnier skies, blossoming flowers, and . . . lots of pesky pollen! Not only is this unfortunate news for any allergy suffers, but pollen also is a sight for sore eyes (no pun intended). Many of us experience those telltale yellow streaks of pollen disgracing our cars, but, equally annoying, are the specks of pollen floating in your pool water! Luckily, removing pollen from your pool is usually easier than having to run your car to the car wash every day!

Of course, it is important to first determine whether or not the yellowing of your typically clear pool water is actually pollen. The other alternative is a yellow-ish green algae, which will require different cleaning methods. You can tell the difference by simply observing where the color is. Pollen will be floating on the surface of your pool, whereas algae will be gunk collecting on the walls or bottom of your pool.

After determining that you do in fact have a pollen issue, it’s time to take care of the mess! First things first: make sure you run your filter. If your pollen problem is particularly bad, you are going to want to run your filtration system more than usual, despite the increase in energy costs. Your pool’s filter is the easiest and best defense against pollen (this is another way to test if it is really pollen and not algae – algae will not be easily filtered out of your pool).

In addition to running your filter more frequently, you will also need to skim your pool’s surface more often as well. Maybe even twice a day, depending on how heavy the pollen is in your area. A skimmer with an extra fine mesh is what is required to do this job – a regular skimmer will not cut it.

If you find that the pollen is even too small for the fine mesh to collect and seems to avoid your filtration system, try adding aluminum sulfate to your water. Aluminum sulfate will cause the pollen to clump by binding with it, effectively making the pollen “larger” and easier to be filtered out or grabbed with the skimmer.

If the fine mesh skimmer and aluminum sulfate is still not doing the trick, it’s time to grab that pool vacuum. Use this only as a last line of defense, as you will waste a lot of water and use up a lot of electricity going through this!

Swim University also recommends that while dealing with a pollen battle, it important to shock your pool at least once before you go to bed, and then skim and filter as usual in the morning.

If you feel uncomfortable doing any of these steps yourself, would rather someone else to take care of it, or just need some supplies, make sure to give Blue Ribbon Pools a call or stop by our retail store in Port Orange!

The Differences in Chlorine

If you are new to owning a pool, you may be surprised to find out that pool supplies are not so simple. Take chlorine, for instance. Chlorine is an absolutely vital tool in your pool care and maintenance, yet, there is not a “one chlorine fits all” when you go shopping. In fact, there’s not even one type of chlorine! So, do you want powdered or liquid chlorine for your swimming pool?

Let’s first break down some facts about chlorine. Chlorine is a common sanitation product used by pool owners to kill bacteria and algae in their pool water. It helps keep your pool safe. Chlorine is an unstable chemical. It will degrade and breakdown over time, especially when exposed to the sun’s UV rays. This is why you are advised to test your water and administer chlorine regularly. It is very important to note that chlorine is actually a hazardous chemical, and it is important to remember proper safety while handling it, whether it be in powder or liquid form. Wearing both protective gloves and goggles are recommended regardless of form.

But is one form better than the other? As you may have suspected, there are pros and cons to both the powdered and liquid chlorine. Your decision will most like end up being based on a combination of your aptitude, budget, and the equipment you have in your pool.

Liquid chlorine is the cheaper option, gram per gram. However, this is more likely to be used in commercial environments, as with smaller pools, the cost tends to outweigh the performance. Liquid chlorine is highly corrosive, and therefore can be damaging to your pool equipment if you are not knowledgeable about proper chlorine handling.

Powdered chlorine is more commonly used in smaller, domestic pools. It is initially more costly than liquid chlorine, but not by a large margin. This will be your safest bet if you are taking care of your own home pool. Powdered chlorine comes in several different types, we recommend stopping by our showroom to find out more about which type of chlorine would be best for you!

Time to Reopen the Pool!

Did you close your pool once the temperatures dropped? It is generally recommended that once the temperature of the water is consistently below 60 degrees, it is okay to close the pool. (Of course, investing in a pool heater can delay the need to close the pool!) Once the water temperature drops below 60 degrees, microorganisms and algae can no longer grow. Decreasing the likelihood of algae growth helps with the overall chemistry of your pool water and causes fewer issues in the spring when you re-open the pool. For example, if you close your swimming pool too early, while temperatures are still in the 80s (or even 70s), your pool will be green once those temperatures return. Opening a green pool requires more chemicals to correct which will cost you time and money.

If you closed your pool for the winter, you may be ready to open it up again now that Springtime right around the corner and the temperature in Florida keeps rising! So what exactly is the best method for re-opening the pool?

First, you’re going to want to reduce the amount of debris that will end up in your pool after removing the cover – so make sure you drain and clean the pool cover before you remove it. After removing the pool cover, lay it out to brush away the remaining debris and give it a good cleaning. Next, grab your pool skimmer in case any debris managed to find its way into your water, and skim it out! Then you can raise the water level back to normal.

Next, reconnect your pool equipment. This includes reconnecting your filter, pump, heater, and whatever else you disconnected. For above ground pools, you will need to reconnect the flexible plumbing lines to the pool equipment and skimmer. If you used winterizing plugs, make sure to take them off as well! If you removed your pool ladder, diving board, step rails, slide, or other accessories for the closing season, go ahead and reinstall them as well.

Now, you can set up and run your filter and pump, and turn your system back on. After all this sitting, you will also want to eliminate built-up metals, test your pool chemistry, and shock the pool. If you are not sure if you are working your equipment correctly, or would just rather not deal with the hassle, make sure you give Blue Ribbon Pools a call. We can either give you the knowledge you need or come out and do this for you!

Give our Blue Ribbon Pools team a call today at 386-366-9000.