Preparing for Hurricane Season

Do not drain your pool before a storm. Keeping sufficient water levels in your pool provides the important weight to hold sides and bottom in place.

It is important that all electric power be turned off at the circuit breakers before a storm hits. Any exposed electrical equipment such as motors for the pumps should be tightly covered with plastic wrap. If flooding is expected, disconnect and remove.

Before and after the storm it is recommended to super chlorinate pool water.

Remove any loose objects such as chairs, tables, pool equipment and even toys. These items can become weapons in high wind storms. Do not throw your furniture in the pool, or anything else for that matter.

If you cannot store items inside a building, carefully place items in the pool. This is not recommended.

Storms can cause ripped lanai screens which can be expensive to replace. This can possibly be avoided if you provide a “vent” for wind to escape through. Screen panels may be removed on either side of the pool area.

Before touching any electrical equipment after the storm, be sure that everything is dry. Check circuit breakers to be sure they are off before attempting to reconnect electrical equipment such as pump motors. Inspect wiring for proper connections. If electric motors have been exposed to water, they should be checked by a professional.

As always, contact Blue Ribbon Pools so we can help in anyway!

Blue Ribbon Pools Hires Residential Sales Associate

PORT ORANGE, FL (Thursday, May 30, 2019) – Blue Ribbon Pools is growing again hiring a new Residential Sales Associate, Amylia Carlin. Since their Outdoor Lifestyle Showroom & Store opened in 2018 in Port Orange, the focus on new residential construction has grown. Carlin was born in Elizabethtown, Kentucky but was raised in Port Orange almost all her life. She comes from 17 years in the hospitality industry and was handpicked by Blue Ribbon Pools owner, Maurice Bushroe, for her natural sales abilities. She grew up in the industry with her father owning a construction company. Carlin was often found helping at job sites. She began in November 2018 and within her first month was able to coordinate a new pool for a residence in Ponce Inlet. Her role at Blue Ribbon Pools includes all aspects of residential construction or renovation on a new pool, spa, decking, or resurfacing project. 

Phosphates in the Water

You know that sun tan oils, sunscreens, lotions, dirt and pollen can all contribute to scum in the pool… but did you know that phosphates in pool water also contribute to pool scum at water lines and to salt chlorine generator scaling? To get clean and healthy pool water, phosphate levels must be kept low.

Blue Ribbon Pools has the chemicals you need to keep phosphates down and take the best care of your pool water and other backyard necessities. Stop by our showroom today!

A Practical Luxury

There is a difference between wanting your pool and backyard area to “look like a million bucks” and actually having that kind of money! We know it’s hard to spruce up your space and stay on top of trends when you are trying to stick to a budget. In times when you just want a little extra oomph in your pool area but don’t want to throw your savings down the drain, why not consider installing a pool fountain?

There are several different types of pool fountains that you can easily install in your inground pool – and even some for your above ground pool! There are poolside fountains (this gets attached to a return jet) and there are floating fountains (these- yes, float on water). While there are fountains that have different light and pattern functions, and fountains that can get really pricey, there are plenty of inexpensive options that will add touches of class and beauty to your pool!

We do not recommend pool fountains just because they can be an affordable luxury.  There are actually quite a few practical benefits of installing a fountain as well! We know that fountains are really pretty to look at, and add an extra element of fun to your pool time. Fountains can also be stress-relieving. While swimming is already a way to reduce your stress, the sound of running water from the fountain also helps alleviate stress as well.

Additionally, pool fountains help circulate your pool water. In addition to your pool pump, a pool fountain (or multiple fountains) will further increase your water circulation, which is crucial for distributing your water chemicals, and pushing nasty things out through your filtration system!

As an added benefit for the particularly brutal summer months, pool fountains help cool down your pool. Through a process called aeration, oxygen is introduced to the water droplets that are sprayed into the air by the pool fountain. This oxygen makes those water droplets cool down, and when they return back down to your pool water, you can expect your pool temperature to decrease by up to four degrees!

Need help sifting through all your pool fountain options? Want to see what’s available to you and get an expert opinion? Stop by the Blue Ribbon Pools showroom and speak to an expert!

Buzzing Around the Pool

Whether you have Spheksophobia (fear of wasps) or just don’t want the pesky things around, wasps and bees around the pool can certainly be vexing. The fact is that wasps are most active during the summertime and will likely find themselves near your pool at one point. It may feel hard to believe, but wasps aren’t necessarily on the hunt after you! Wasps prey on other insects such as aphids, flies, and caterpillars, effectively keeping our insect population under control. And while not their main purpose, wasps do pollinate plants and flowers in a way similar to bees. Like how you shouldn’t kill bees, killing wasps cause more problems than it solves- no matter how “deadly” they may seem!

Still, just because wasps are beneficial to the environment, doesn’t mean you have to invite them to hang out by your pool all day! Before calling in a professional to remove the pesky critters, try resolving on your own first. You can try luring wasps away from your pool area by hanging raw meat (yes, like a steak or beef) in an area that will attract them away from your pool. A small amount that wasps can devour in a timely manner will do just fine.

As a preemptive measure, you may purchase “fake” wasps nests. These decoys work mainly if wasps haven’t started their nest yet. Since wasps are territorial, if they see other wasps have “built” a nest, they will stay away. Keep note of where wasps had their nests when they die out after summer, and before the Queens start becoming active in April – hang up the decoys where the old wasp’s nests were! It should work in deterring them from coming back.

If you are also having a bee problem, a beekeeper will gladly come and remove your hive for you. However, bees are not only less dangerous than wasps, but easier to get rid of. For instance, hanging up dryer sheets in baskets and other objects around your pool area is often enough to keep bees at bay (make sure you keep switching the dryer sheets out to keep them fresh). Bees are also often attracted to your pool simply because they are thirsty, so try providing them with an alternative water source to drink from.

(As always, use your own discretion when deciding if you can try to solve your issue on your own, or if you need to call a professional in straight away! Swim safely!)

Less Splash, More Cash

We often talk about ways to save money while enjoying your pool, but we often neglect to discuss how you can save money by not wasting your water! Typically, your pool will waste water by evaporation, leaks, filter back washing, and splashing. Remember when thinking in terms of water, every drop eventually adds up to equal gallons! Think about how many wasted gallons are contributing to your water bill.

1. Evaporation

While most things on the above list may seem manageable, you may be wondering just how in the world you’re supposed to stop evaporation, a natural occurrence, from happening. The best and simplest solution is to just simply make sure your pool is covered when it’s not in use. An uncovered pool can lose about an inch of water per week, which can add up to 7,000 gallons a year. Those wasted gallons translate into wasted dollars!

Another way to help prevent evaporation is to use strategically placed objects that are meant to block out wind, such as fences, boulders, and shrubs.

2. Leaking

More dangerous but perhaps easier to notice than evaporating water is leaking water. If you suspect your pool may be leaking, monitor it for 24 hours and then give Blue Ribbon Pools a call! We don’t want you to “leak out”! Having a pool leak repaired by a pool professional will not only save water but increase the life expectancy of your pool and lining.

3. Filter Backwashing

While filter backwashing is by no means a bad thing, you should be conscientious about it. Never backwash for longer than necessary. Two-minutes of filter backwashing for a sand filter will use up about 200 gallons of water. As soon as the water starts running clear in the sight glass, stop!

4. Splashing

Splashing is the one item on this list that you have the most control over! Of course, it’s super fun to splash around in the pool. No one wants to be a killjoy! But try to keep splashing down to a minimum. Keep an eye on children, but also monitor the adults- think of how much a water a grown man can displace!

If you would like to further discuss ways to save water and save money with your pool, give Blue Ribbon Pools a call!

Understanding Chlorine

Simply put, chlorine is what sanitizes your pool. This is the biggest help in making your pool water safe and hygienic for swimming! But what exactly does chlorine do? And why are there different kinds?

Brace yourself for some schooling, because there will be a bit of chemistry involved in this explanation! First, chlorine reacts with your pool water to form hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion. Combined, these compounds form “free chlorine.” You want your water’s FC level to be between one and four parts per million (ppm) so the chemical can do its job.

When the chlorine you’ve added begins to react with contaminants in the water, such as nitrogen and ammonia, you’ve not got “combined chlorine.” Combined chlorine is chlorine that has already been used. Because the combined chlorine as some contaminants in it, it is not as effective as free chlorine in sanitizing the pool. You want to keep your CC level to less than 0.2 ppm.

Remember, to ensure your pool is sanitized properly, your free chlorine should remain higher than your combined chlorine.

There is also something known as “breakpoint chlorination,” which is when you have enough FC to shatter the molecular bonds of chloramine. You need to add ten times the amount of CC to hit this point. If you’ve heard of “shocking” your pool, this is what you’re aiming for in this process. Not hitting the breakpoint can result in even more chloramines in your pool, and if the chloramine levels continue to rise unchecked, you may eventually have to partially or even fully replace your water to fix the issue.

Blue Ribbon Pools offers free water testing, where we can test the chlorine levels of your pool for you as long as you bring in a water sample. We can then recommend what you should do next. If you need help shocking your pool, understanding the chlorine levels, or would like someone to do the “dirty” work for you, contact Blue Ribbon Pools today to schedule maintenance!

(Thanks to Swim University for additional info provided for this article.)

It’s a Busy Week Here at BRP

We have a busy week coming up! 

On Wednesday, we are a sponsor/presenter of Southern States Management Group’s Seasonal Forum happening from 5:30-8pm at Oceanside Country Club. If you are or know a board member who wants to attend and learn seasonal tips by industry leaders, like Blue Ribbon Pools, please email to attend. 

We also have our annual “Party at the Jack Customer Appreciation Night” happening this Sunday. We are excited to see everyone. 

And, next week we are hosting this Pool Professional Workshop. 

Loving what we do and appreciative for the continued support and business from all!

Healthy Swimming

With winter behind us, your pool is sure to see a lot more use. Keeping your pool safe is more than protecting against drowning and preventing safety hazards. Your pool’s “health” is important to your family’s health, and vice versa. Good hygiene is important for the cleanliness of your pool. Similarly, the cleanliness of the pool is important to your well-being – if the water is contaminated, you may get sick! Here are some tips to keep both your pool and your family’s health in top condition.

1. Don’t swim if you’re sick! While it’s true that the chlorine in your pool is there for disinfecting the water, it is not a cure-all. Try keeping germs out of the pool as much as possible by practicing good hygiene. If there is an accident while swimming, make sure to clean out the water as quickly as possible.

2. Regularly test your pool water. Your pool water MUST be kept clean. People will get sick in dirty water. It is really easy to throw your water off balance, just by the forces of nature (hot weather, rain) or with excessive use. Testing the chemical balance of the water in your pool is one of the most important things you can do to make sure it’s up to par. This is important as the chemical balance keeps your water disinfected and clean, and thus – safe. Test the chlorine and pH levels at least twice a week and daily if you can.

3. Keep the surface of your water clean. Debris can easily fall into your pool. Not only will it make your pool water look ugly and messy, but the chemicals in your pool and your filtration system may also have to try to work overtime to keep the water clean – and they might not be able to compensate. It’s not just dirt, bugs, and leaves that can enter the water – keep in mind that you are probably entering the pool with sunscreen and/or other oils that will seep into the water as well. So use a hand skimmer to clean your pool’s surface, brush the walls and vacuum its floor often. Don’t neglect to keep the skimmer baskets clean as well!

4. Keep your pool filter clean. This should be part of your regular pool maintenance anyway, so don’t neglect it! If you have a sand filter, make sure to backwash and clean filter screens when necessary. If you are using a cartridge-based filter, make sure to check, clean or replace your filters when they’re dirty.

If you are unsure of the proper procedures for caring for your pool or would rather someone else keep up the maintenance – we understand! Give Blue Ribbon Pools a call!

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!