Pool Care

At Home Pool Maintenance for Jacksonville Residents

How to Clean and Maintain Your Pool

The key to keeping your Jacksonville pool sparkling clean in between professional service visits is regular routine care. And, yes, most pool owners need to do a few things on their own to keep their pools pristine.  If you decide to take care of murky water or broken pumps on your own, make sure you refer to your owner’s manuals.

1) Skim debris. Skim the surface by hand every few days. Use a long handled net called a hand skimmer to remove leaves, bugs and other debris before it sinks to the bottom and becomes harder to remove. Skimming your pool’s surface keeps the circulation of your pool going strong and reduces the amount of chlorine you need. Also be sure to empty skimmer baskets by shaking them out and spraying them with a hose. This is fairly easy to do without a professional but something that our pool service provides.At Home Pool Maintenance for Jacksonville, Fl

2) Empty Skimmer Basket. When you skim the debris make sure to shake out the skimmer basket and spray with hose until everything is loose. Be sure not to bang the skimmer against hard surfaces as it can break fairly easily. Simply shake against your hand to remove any stubborn debris. For a major cleaning it’s best left to the professionals at Blue Water Pool Cleaning.

3) Maintain water level. Water levels decrease from splashing, evaporation and skimming. Make sure the water levels don’t get too low. You don’t want your pump to be damaged. If the water level goes below the level of the skimmer, it’s time to fill the pool back up.

4) Clean up Surrounding Debris. Leaves from nearby trees can collect around the pool and drop in from time to time. It’s best to keep the area around the pool clear of any debris as well, not just for the pool clarity but so that no one will slip on wet leaves or trip over items and cause injury.

The above are all things you can be doing yourself to help ensure your pools health and beauty. When your professional pool service comes out to your pool, we’ll take care of such things as maintaining the water chemistry, vacuuming, cleaning the filter as well as all the above general maintenance.

Want more information? Call the experts at Blue Water Pools and Spas for Jacksonville Pool services. We service a variety of pools and spas around the Jacksonville area. Relax! We take care of everything!

Want to learn more:

Why Does Hair Turn Green After Swimming Sometimes?

Calcium Hardness –Why it is so Important Know!

Rain Water and its Affect on your Pool

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Swim Toys: The Good, The Bad, and the Floaties

Floaties, Noodles, and Fun at the Pool!

Okay. So, none of the pool toys are really bad, but it made for a catchy title! The pool industry is drenched (ha…punintended) in pool toys. There’s certainly merit in the” swim laps is all you need” thinking. It’s great exercise! However, let’s face it. Sometimes we just wanna get in and splash around! So, why not have some fun toys to help us in our endeavors!

POOL NOODLES are not what you put into the pool to make a pool sized pot of spaghetti, BUT they are a pool toy classic! These extremely versatile toys can be used to help with floatation, used when learning how to swim, used for pool exercises and more. The pool noodle can also aid in balance and be used as a resistance factor in the water. Pool noodles are indeed grand and very inexpensive! You can find them at the dollar store!
Swim Toys: The Good, The Bad, and the Floaties
BEACH BALLS are also very popular! Invented in 1938, this lightweight ball of plastic filled with air is used at the beach and pools everywhere. Toddlers love the beach ball and games such as bumper balls can be played using this toy.

SWIM FLOATIES are probably the biggest contributor to swimming of all swim toys. A whopping 65% of Americans are non swimmers. Imagine what that percentage would be if we didn’t have floaties? Gaining popularity in the early 1900s, they eased parents worries and children’s nerves.

These are the most popular and long standing pool toys. However, let’s not forget the classic rubber yellow ducky, and the more recent diving sticks made in all kinds of popular children’s cartoon characters. Additional pool toys include water volleyball and basketball or kickboards, fins, and the list goes on and on and on! So grab a toy and go have some wet fun!

 

Why Does Hair Turn Green After Swimming Sometimes?

Does Your Hair Turn Green after Swimming?

It has long been thought that chlorine is the sole cause of hair turning green after swimming. The truth is that cooper is the real culprit. Copper can be present in your water from a variety of different sources.

Why Does Hair Turn Green After Swimming Sometimes?

Likely sources could be corrosion of your plumbing, erosion of natural deposits that end up in your water, and algaecides commonly have high percentages of copper. When there is a lot of copper present in your pool water, it is possible for it to attach itself to the follicles of swimmers hair. You will notice this change in color primarily in those swimmers with blond or white hair because they are lacking pigment in their hair so it is more evident (although it attaches to all hair colors). There are special shampoos on the market that will form a bond with the cooper in the hair follicles and rinse it away in the shower. Another way to help prevent the discoloration is to rinse hair immediately following swimming. The best way to prevent this is to regularly monitor and maintain your water chemistry. Often times, the copper will enter the water after a big swing in the pH that causes the water to become corrosive dissolving copper into your water. By making smaller adjustments with your chemicals on a regular basis you will avoid these large swings in pH that can cause these problems for your pool, its equipment and your hair!

Calcium Hardness –Why it is so Important to Know!

Why Calcium Hardness is Important for Pools

Calcium hardness is another important factor of a pools chemistry that must be managed. Calcium hardness refers to the amount of calcium and magnesium salts contained in water. For the purpose of pool water chemistry only calcium is relevant. If calcium hardness levels are too low, your pool can experience discoloration in your pool walls, etching of the marcite (plaster), pitting of the concrete surfaces, and dissolving of grout can occur. These problems are a result of the water in your pool looking to self-correct for the calcium it is missing. Pool water with low calcium will actively leech it of out of the surfaces of the pool that contain calcium. High levels of calcium hardness can lead to cloudy water, clogged filters, and heater inefficiencies due to scaling.

Calcium Hardness --Why it is so Important Know!

There are several methods for adjusting calcium hardness and bringing your water chemistry back into balance. You can raise your calcium hardness level to the appropriate range of 200-400 ppm (parts per million) by adding calcium chloride (CaCl2). To decrease, you can add acid or you can lower your water and replace with fresh water. If you choose to lower your saturation index with acid, be careful not to add too much as you do not want to drop your pH too low as this could result in other problems. The important thing to remember is that through regular testing and monitoring, adjusting calcium hardness is relatively easy to identify and fix.

Rain Water and it’s Effect on your Pool

Rain Water and its Affect on your PoolHow Rain Water Effects your Pool

Have you ever wondered the effect that rain water has on your pool? After a rainstorm the resulting water can change the chemistry of your pool. Typically the rain that falls in the southeast develops from the Atlantic Ocean and has a pH level between 4.8 and 5.6. This level of acidity can take the pH of your pool below the ideal 7.2-7.8 range. When the pH levels fall out of ideal range, your pool becomes at risk for damage to equipment, pool surfaces and can be potentially unpleasant to swim in. Also, more water volume will dilute the available chlorine which prevents its ability to keep your pool sanitized and algae free. In addition to water chemistry problems, additional water introduced to your pool from storms and run off can affect the pool’s ability to clean itself through the skimmer. A good rule of thumb is to keep the water to a level halfway up the tile line. Blue Water Pools & Spas routinely monitors its customer’s water levels. Please call us today if you would like to receive a FREE analysis of your pool water or to learn more about how to keep your pool water properly balanced.

Why do we Have Red Eyes After Swimming Sometimes?

Do Your Eyes Ever Get Red After Swimming?

Have you ever been curious as to what causes redness in your eyes sometimes after you have been swimming? Often times we are told that this redness is a result of the chlorine in the water. Although this is partially true, chlorine is not the only reason this may occur.

Why do we Have Red Eyes After Swimming Sometimes?

Understanding the difference between free chlorine and combined chlorine will shed some light on this topic. Free chlorine is the chlorine that is in your pool and its job to disinfect and sterilize the pool so it is safe to swim in. Combined chlorine is the chlorine in your pool which has attached itself to introduced contaminants like body oil, suntan lotion, organic debris or anything else. Combined chlorine is also known as chloramines. Chloramines are not effective at disinfection or sterilization of your pool. However, they are very good at drying your skin, creating that strong chlorine smell and turning your eyes red.

Another factor with “eye redness” is the pH. It is important to keep the pH between 7.2-7.8 for a variety of reasons, but most important, it keeps the water close to human conditions. As humans, our blood, saliva, tears, etc. ranges between 7.2 and 7.6. Often, when we experience eye redness, it is a result of swimming in water that has not been balanced properly and the pH is outside if its recommended range.

Keeping your water balanced is a critical part of maintaining your pool. The condition of your pool and its equipment depend on it. Balancing your water properly also has a direct effect on its clarity and more importantly, the health of your water. If you want to be sure that your pool water is balanced properly, call Blue Water Pools & Spas today for a FREE water quality analysis.

Phosphates

What are Phosphates?

Phosphates are known nutrients that will help plant life grow. In regards to pool care, it’s important to know the level of phosphates your pool might contain as this is something that can prevent algae from colonizing in your pool. Phospates

Where do the phosphates come from? Phosphates can come from organic material such as leaves and sticks that decompose in your pool or they may also come from fertilizer or dirt blown into your pool. However, there have been a lot of studies on this subject and it has been discovered that most pools are not susceptible to above normal phosphate levels from this type of organic material (unless you dump multiple bags of fertilizer into your pool). Another source cites that most pools that have unusually high phosphate levels got to this level by using a stain or scale remover that was not phosphate-free. If your pool begins to experience algae growth more often than it should, you will want to have your phosphate levels checked.

Treating high phosphate levels is relatively easy. You can buy a variety of different phosphate removers and essentially what they will do is bind with the phosphates in your water so that when they get to your filter will stay in your filter and not go back into your pool. The best preventive method is that if you choose to use a scale or stain remover, make sure the product is phosphate-free.

Typically, most water quality test kits do not include something that allows you to test for phosphates. If this is something you would like to learn more about or would like to have your water tested for phosphates, call us today at 904.392.0428.

Pool Service Jacksonville

We are the Pool Experts!

Do you wonder if your current pool service is doing the best for your pool?

Pool Service Jacksonville

Take the 6 question survey below to help you find the answer.

If you answer “NO” to any of the questions below, call us today for a FREE consultation and water quality analysis!

Every day, we hear first-hand how pool owners struggle with their pool service. They have no idea if the service came by that week- or even more common, the pool service showed up, stayed for 5 minutes and then left after dumping a little chemical into the pool. When this is happening, before the owners know it, the pool can become something that begins to suck money from their wallets due to the repairs needed because of the lack of proper service. You have a pool to enjoy it–make sure your pool does not cause you more pain than pleasure!

Even if you do not use your pool that often, poor water chemistry will cost you money in expensive repairs. So make sure to hire a pool service company that is not only dependable, but technically adept. That company is Blue Water Pools & Spas!

6 Question Pool Survey

1) Does your current pool service show up every week (even Holiday weeks) on time?

2) Does your current pool service regularly check ALL of your pool equipment?

3) Does your current pool service leave you a personalized note each week?

4) Is your pool algae-free all year long?

5) Do you have the same technician each week who knows you and your pool?

6) Does your current pool service have proper licensing and liability insurance (have they shown it to you?)?

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, call us today! We are here to serve you! 904-392-0428

Blue Water Pools & Spas provides exceptional pool care and maintenance all year long. Each week, we will…

-Check and balance the water chemistry
-Inspect and maintain all pool equipment
-Clean pool surface of all debris
-Keep tiles scrubbed and clean
-Empty skimmer and pump baskets
-Adjust and maintain timer clocks
-Vacuum when needed
-Brush the pool walls when needed to prevent algae build up
-Keep your pool algae free
-Leave you a personalized note of the pools condition and the work we perform each week

Call today for your FREE consulation! Mention this article and receive $50 off your first months service with a weekly agreement! (Not a contract- we do not do contracts- we only want customers that are happy with our service to stay with us).

You have nothing to lose- call today 904.392.0428!

We offer pool service in Jacksonville, Yulee, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Ponte Vedra, some parts of St. Augustine and Orange Park.

Salt Water Pools

How Salt Water Pools Work

We often get asked about “salt water pools” and how they work. Many think of a salt water pool and think that it might be like  swimming in the ocean. Many think that the salt does the job of the chemicals and that the pool no longer needs chlorine.  Some have suggested that a salt system would be better for them because they are allergic to chlorine. In the following, we will address these curiosities and make you aware of what a salt water pool is and how it works.

Salt Water Pools

The water of the ocean has a salt content of approximately 35,000 ppm (parts per million), while the proper content of a salt water pool is around 2,800- 4,500 ppm. So if you have a saltwater pool and have the proper amount of salt in it, you should not even realize there is salt in it, or at least very little.

Something we see all the time with new customers that already have a salt system installed on their pool is that there are no other chemicals in the pool. Salt pools do in fact need chemicals just like every other pool. The salt system isolates the chlorine (more about this later) and sends this back to your pool, but that’s it. The salt system does not manage your Total Alkalinity, pH, Calcium Hardness or the Stabilizer levels. This is why it is so important to provide regular care to your pool so that these levels can be checked and managed appropriately.

Let’s explain how the salt system works. Inside your pool you have your water and your salt (we’ll exclude other chemicals for explanation purposes). When your pump is on, it is pulling this saline solution (salt water) into the pump. It goes through your pump and comes out through the return and then moves toward your filter. From here it will pass through the “salt cell” or “salt generator” which is where the magic happens. It’s inside this cell where “electrolysis” occurs, taking the saline water in the cell, separating the Sodium from the Chlorine (salt is made up of Sodium and Chlorine), and then the free chlorine is released back into your pool which is why there is chlorine in all pools that operate with a salt water system.

Pros and Cons

There are some pros of owning a salt water pool. The chorine levels are typically lower than traditional pools which means there is little to no chlorine smell, its softer water which can mean the water is nicer to swim in and it’s less damaging to your skin than chlorine. In addition, the costs for maintaining a salt water system can be less as well. Salt water pools really just need to be topped off with new salt from time to time which is less expensive than chlorine.

The cons to owning a salt water system are that they can be expensive to install depending upon the make and model, it can range from $1,400- $2,000. Also, this equipment needs to be maintained. Periodically, the salt cell will need to be cleaned so that it can perform properly and the control unit (computer) is an expensive piece of equipment that can fail without proper maintenance. Also, if you ever need to partially drain or completely drain your pool, you need to be careful where you do it. After the water evaporates, the salt is still left behind. If you drain into gutters or storm drains, they eventually lead to a river, lake or other nearby stream. You could increase the salt levels to a dangerous level killing off local plants and animals. Draining into one area of your yard in small quantities will not kill the grass, but large amounts of salt could absorb all the moisture and nutrients in your lawn preventing it to grow.

If you have any questions about salt systems/salt water pools or how to maintain them properly, don’t hesitate to call us at 904.392.0428, we are here to help.

Pool Water Chemistry- It’s a Balancing Act!

How to Balance your Pool Water

Keeping your pool healthy is based on many different factors. Balancing the pool water properly is the cornerstone to maintaining a healthy pool. Pool water chemistry is based on many criteria but there are three main parameters: Chorine, pH and Alkalinity. When the level of these three chemical indicators are within their proper range, the pool water is said to be balanced.

Pool Water Chemistry- It's a Balancing Act!

The amount of chlorine in pool water is important; it should be between 2-5 parts per million. But more significant is the chemical form of the chlorine. Only when the chlorine in the water is present as hypochlor-ous acid (HOCl) does the chlorine have the strong anti-microbial powers needed for sanitation.

To get the majority of the water’s chlorine into this hypochlorous form, the pH of the pool needs to be controlled. When the pH is between 7.2 and 7.6, about 60% of the available chlorine will exist as hypochlor-ous acid, enabling it to kill harmful microorganisms. This is also a pH just above neutrality and therefore very comfortable for swimmers.

pH levels tend to go up & down however and controlling fluctuations is not very easy. That is where alkalinity become important. When the alkalinity is kept between 80-120 ppm, the pH stabilizes and won’t bounce up and down (changing the effectiveness of the chlorine).

Each week, our trained pool technician’s goal is to balance your pool’s water – controlling the alkalinity so the pH is kept in line which, in turn, maximizes the effectiveness of the chlorine. This helps keep your pool water healthy and ready for your enjoyment. Pool Water Chemistry- It’s a Balancing Act!