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Why is Calcium Hardness Important in Swimming Pools?

As a swimming pool owner, one of the things you need to understand to keep your pool running well is the calcium hardness levels in the pool water. The mineral calcium naturally exists in water, but it needs to be managed so it doesn’t get too high or low, causing problems.

You have probably heard the terms hard and soft water before. Hard water refers to a large amount of minerals present in water. Calcium hardness, therefore, refers to the level of calcium carbonate present in your swimming pool water. Maintaining the right level of calcium hardness in your pool is important for the overall balance of chemicals in the water. Calcium hardness levels should range between 200 and 400 ppm. As long as the level remains in this range, your water chemistry should be correctly balanced.

What happens if the calcium hardness level is out of this range? What problems will I notice? What can I do to fix these problems if I find them?

High CH Levels

If calcium hardness levels are too high, you will start to notice scaly formations in the water, as the mineral builds up. The pool surface also becomes rough and scratchy. The filters may become clogged, and the water can therefore begin to look cloudy. All these conditions will probably lead to swimmers complaining about their eyes and skin being irritated by the water.

If you experience this problem, you will need to make the necessary adjustments to lower alkalinity and pH levels in the water. If the problem is big enough, you’ll need to at least partially drain your pool, and add new water. It’s important, however, that the new water not have a high level of calcium. This may require allowing the new water to pass through a water softener before adding it to the pool. If you heat your pool, pay close attention to CH levels going up because high heat can cause these levels to rise.

Low CH Levels

If the calcium hardness level drops too low, you will be faced with harsh, corrosive water. The biggest problem with this corrosive water is damage to your pool surfaces, such as etching, pitting or stains on the walls. If left untreated, it can also cause your pool systems to fail.

If you notice this happening, you will need to add a chemical called calcium chloride to the water. It is important to thoroughly understand how to do so, however, because calcium chloride can emit a great amount of heat when it is added to the water. It is also important to understand the proper amount and strength to add. It’s a good idea to get professional help if you feel concerned about correctly using this chemical and getting your pool water properly balanced.

The most important thing you can do is to keep careful watch on the levels of calcium hardness in your pool. Regular monitoring can help you catch a problem early on and prevent you from having a big problem down the road.

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Why Above-Ground Swimming Pools Are the New Fad

Especially during the sweltering heat of the summer months, many home owners dream of purchasing their own swimming pool. Unfortunately, consumers do not see this as a possibility because of the extremely high price and inconvenience of in-ground swimming pools. People can not afford to hire someone to come and dig a hole in the ground of their backyard, and many do not have the time to spend maintaining the swimming pool. That can be a full time job in itself! But there is good news. People are starting to lean toward an alternate option for summer fun: above-ground swimming pools. These pools provide just as much fun for only a fraction of the price, and way less pool maintenance. Here is some information for those considering an above-ground swimming pool.

Wide Variety

There is a hesitation among consumers about purchasing an above-ground pool because many hold the general misconception that all of them look the same: ugly and round. These days, this is simply not the case. Above-ground swimming pools come in different shapes, such as oval, rectangular, and round, and they come in many different depths. The deepest that an above-ground swimming pool generally goes is about 54 inches. You can choose from a variety of materials as well, like plastic, vinyl, or metal! Plastic is the least expensive and is usually purchased for small children who are unable to swim. Vinyl is the most popular material because it is durable and has a low price. It is also very easy to install and maintain. Metal pools are the most pricey because they last the longest of the three. They will usually last around 20 years, but are a little bit more difficult to initially set up.

Beautiful Landscape

In addition to the variety in shape, size, and material, above-ground swimming pools can have a customized color to fit with your home or backyard. Pool liners come in any color imaginable. If this still does not fit your preference, you can use landscape to make your pool look beautiful in your backyard. Many pool owners place potted plants around the perimeter of their pool to help with the appearance. Others build a deck around their pool for both safety and aesthetics. Having a wooden deck around your pool will help it to flow with the landscape of your backyard.

Great Safety

Above-ground swimming pools are the safest in the market for neighborhoods with small children and animals. Because the entrance of the pool is so high off of the ground, most children who are unable to swim are also unable to climb to the top of the pool and remove the pool cover to fall in. Of course, it is still wise to install a fence with a self-closing gate around the perimeter for extra safety.

Above-ground swimming pools are inexpensive, simple, safe, and come in a variety of styles. Because of these great benefits, their popularity is rapidly increasing. They have become a beloved way to beat the summer heat.

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Which Type of Inground Pool is Right for Me?

Have you thought about investing in an inground pool for your home? If you need a place to begin your search, look no further! The following describes the three main types of inground pools to consider. Comparing the advantages of each, as well as their cost, will help you make your best decision.

The first option for inground pools is custom-built concrete swimming pools. These pools are built on-site and have almost endless options for style and size. This is largely due to the construction process, which begins with a custom built structure. Steel reinforced frames are installed in the desired area, offering a very sturdy base for the pool. Next, gunite (shot-crete) is applied by an experienced professional. The thickness of this spray-on concrete varies on the budget, design desired and the condition of the land. Lastly, the dried gunite is smoothed over and then plastered for the final finish. Pools can be plastered in a variety of colors and complimented by stylish tiles as well. Because of the complexity of this type of pool, it takes the longest to install and is more expensive than other inground pools, but it also has the potential to last the longest.

Another fairly customizable option is a vinyl liner inground pool. Unlike concrete pools, a vinyl liner is produced off-site and shipped to the site for installation. Vinyl liners are manufactured from virgin materials and treated to discourage bacteria growth. It is an easy material to make, and therefore is available in many thicknesses, colors and patterns. It can also be produced in any shape or size. Similar to concrete pools, a vinyl liner needs a sturdy base for installment. Strong panels are used to create this base, and can be made from a choice of many materials, including steel, aluminum and wood. The depth of your pool is easy to customize with this option; but you must be aware that a proper width and length is necessary to coordinate with the desired depth. Vinyl liner pools are overall the most economical option, and can often appear just as spectacular as more expensive, custom-built options.

In contrast to custom-built options, fiberglass pools offer a factory made and molded inground pool option. These pools are pre-designed and manufactured in specific sizes and shapes. Each pool can be selected in a color chosen by the owner, which is achieved through a gel coating given to the fiber-reinforced plastic after it is molded. Fiberglass pools are transported to the site and placed into the ground with cranes or other machinery. Instead of structural bracing, like that used to build concrete pools, fiberglass pools are placed in the ground with proper backfill for support. Because they are less customizable, and installation is much quicker, fiberglass pools cost less than concrete ones, but because of the cost of materials, they are more expensive than vinyl inground pools.

Now that you understand your three options, you can make a great decision on which inground pool best suits you.

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What’s So Great About Above-Ground Swimming Pools?

Many people are starting to convert to above-ground swimming pool consumers. The in-ground swimming pools are beginning to be too expensive and time consuming, so people are realizing their inconvenience. As a result, the sales of above-ground swimming pools are rapidly increasing. This has sparked a curiosity among the public. People are wondering what is so great about these swimming pools. Here are just a few of the benefits that come along with purchasing your very own, above-ground, backyard oasis.

It is inexpensive!

Unlike the cost of in-ground swimming pools, that of above-ground pools is very low. Purchasing an in-ground pool can cost up to 40,000 dollars plus equipment, accessories, and landscape. Purchasing an above-ground pool does not generally cost more than 4,000 dollars. Some would be concerned by this because it is a sign that above-ground pools are not made with quality material, and therefore will not last more than a couple of seasons. This is a misconception. Above-ground swimming pools will not last quite as long as in-ground pools, but they can last a couple of decades. With advancements in recent technology, the material is high quality and tear resistant. Maintenance of an above-ground pool is relatively low-priced as well. When a hole appears, all that is usually needed is a patch kit. These can be bought at any pool specialty store for a low price.

It is simple!

Above-ground swimming pools, just as the name suggests, sit on top of the ground. Therefore, they must be assembled and set on the ground. This is a much more simple approach than digging a giant hole in the ground of your backyard and waiting months to install your pool. Above-ground pools can usually be installed within a day or two, depending on the style that you choose. A manual and instructional DVD will likely come along in the package to assist you with installation, but they may not even be needed. After simple installation, there is simple maintenance. The pump just sits on the ground next to your pool, so whenever it needs maintenance, it will be right there for you to work on. None of the equipment is underground, so it is all easy to access when you need to do some upkeep.

It is portable!

When families install in-ground swimming pools, there is always a chance that they will relocate and have to leave their summer fun behind. With above-ground swimming pools, families can disassemble and pack up their source of fun to bring along with them wherever they happen to go! Depending on the simplicity of the pool style, you may even be able to take it with you on vacation! This is a huge advantage in owning an above-ground swimming pool. Everyone wants fun that they can take with them on the road!

So not only are above-ground swimming pools extremely inexpensive, but they are also simple to install and they are portable. On top of all of these benefits, they still provide just as much summer fun as the expensive and inconvenient in-ground swimming pools. It is no wonder why consumers are leaning towards this option. It is a fantastic way to beat the heat!

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What You Should Know About Swimming Pool Water Chemistry

If you own or plan to own your own swimming pool, it is important to understand the three basic parts of swimming pool water chemistry. A good understanding of each part will help you properly monitor your water and keep it safe for swimming.

The first part is the pH and Alkalinity levels. The pH level in pool water is a measure of the acidity present. A pH level between 7.2 and 7.6 is a good range for home pools. The alkalinity of the water acts as a helper for the pH levels staying in check. If kept in the range of 80-120 ppm, the alkalinity will prevent the pH level from getting too high, causing irritation to swimmers. A basic water test kit will allow you to measure each of these and keep them regularly in balance.

The next thing that you will need to know is how to correctly monitor chlorine and chlorine stabilizer levels. Chlorine is the chemical most pool owners use to keep the water clean and sanitized. It can easily evaporate and disappear, however, without the help of a stabilizer. Cyanuric Acid is the chemical used as chlorine stabilizer. This acid works as a blanket that partially covers the chlorine molecules, hiding them from the hot sun and keeping them from evaporating.

The proper level for chlorine stabilizer is between 30 and 50 ppm. If the level drops below this level, the stabilizer can’t do it’s job in covering the chlorine, and it will begin to evaporate. On the other hand, if too much stabilizer is present, it will completely cover the chlorine and prevent it from doing it’s cleaning and sanitizing work.

Generally stabilizer levels will stay balanced if set properly at the beginning of the season. If they do get off however, you will need to get them in balance as quickly as possible. Low levels can fairly easily be fixed by adding small amounts of stabilizer, while high levels require more work. You will most likely have to partially drain the pool, add fresh water, allow it to circulate, and then retest. Repeat this process until the right level is reached.

Calcium hardness is the third part of swimming pool water chemistry that is important to understand. The level of calcium hardness is a measure of how much calcium is present in the water. Depending on where you live and where your water comes from, the water you fill your pool with will come with it’s own level of calcium, before you treat it at all. The trick is to be sure the level is right for your pool. Vinyl liner pools should maintain calcium levels in a range of 80-150 ppm. Plaster or concrete finished pools should keep it between 150 and 200 ppm. When calcium hardness levels get too high or low, damage to the pool and pool equipment can occur.

Keep all of these things in mind, and you can safely and effectively manage your pool water chemistry and maintain a healthy pool every season.

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What You Need to Know About Buying the Right Swimming Pool Pump

As the summer months approach and the weather begins to heat up, you may be thinking this is the year to finally buy an above ground pool! In the excitement of finding the right pool for you, there are some important things that should not be overlooked. One of these is the importance of selecting the right kind of swimming pool pump. It might seem like much more fun to pick out a slide or pool toys, and you may think that any pool pump will do. But if you want a pump that functions well to keep dirt, bugs, leaves and other debris out of the water, than you should pay attention to what you buy, and do a little research before you buy it!

No two swimming pool pumps are exactly the same, and it’s important that you understand the right type for your pool. It might seem like the bigger the pump, the better, but it’s actually important to find the right match and not purchase something that is more powerful than you need. Buying the right pump will save you money up front, as well as down the road.

To start, there are two measurements you will need to know before you head to the store to buy a swimming pool pump. Some pumps are designed to move more water than others. To determine how powerful a pump you need, you will need to know the amount of water your swimming pool holds in gallons. If the pool doesn’t give you this information outright, use the pool dimensions to figure the number. Multiply the width by the depth and then that number by the height. This will give you the volume of the pool. One cubic foot holds about 7.5 gallons. It’s okay if your number is approximate, just get as close as you can.

You will also need to calculate how many gallons of water per hour you want to be circulated by the pump. Find this measurement by diving the number of gallons of water your pool holds by the number of hours you want it to take for the pump to process all the water. This will help find a pump that is efficient and sturdy enough to get your pool running the way you want it to.

After ensuring the pumps you are looking at meet the requirements for water circulation, there are a few more things to compare. Check basic ratings and reviews, to make sure the pump has worked well for others. Also compare the efficiency of various pumps by comparing their head ratings, which show how much energy they use. Be sure that the pump will fit and install properly on your pool.

It is also helpful to do some research on the other equipment in your pool, such as the filters and heaters, because they can effect how well your pump does it’s job. Now you are ready to buy a perfect pool pump – happy swimming!

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Everything About Above-Ground Swimming Pool Steps

There is no better way to beat the heat than to splash around in your very own above-ground swimming pool! Such a backyard addition provides a ton of entertainment and relaxation. It is a wonder why not everybody has invested in such a great attraction. The installation of above-ground swimming pools is even a rather simple task. Most only take a few minutes to set up. Above-ground swimming pools provide simple fun, but we cannot forget about safety. We must install steps for our pool before we can enjoy the cool water.

Above-ground swimming pools are generally pretty high off the ground, so you will not want people trying to climb in and out without steps to help them. For maximum safety, you will need steps on the outside and on the inside of the pool. Your swimmers will have a very hard time getting in and out of the pool without these steps. You do not want to make it a hassle to go swimming, so install these steps and make everyone safe and happy.

The cost of these steps can be very affordable, depending on the material that you choose. They are available in plastic (for plastic pools, usually), vinyl (for vinyl pools), aluminum (for aluminum pools), and stainless steel (for galvanized steel pools). It is best to get steps that are made of the same material as your above-ground swimming pool because they will most likely last around the same amount of time as your pool. If you get a plastic pool and stainless steel steps, you will have steps long after your pool is gone. If you have a galvanized steel swimming pool and plastic steps, you will be replacing your steps quite often.

The stainless steel steps are by far the most durable, but they are also the most expensive. They will last about 20 years with a steel swimming pool. It is wise to have sturdy steps since they will be holding your weight and are meant to provide safety. The stainless steel steps are the best option, but coming in second are the aluminum steps. They are also a little more pricey, but will last longer than the plastic or vinyl steps.

Once you have chosen your material, you will need to figure out the structure of your steps. They should be placed in the safest and best area of your pool, and should not fall apart. If they were to break while someone was using them for support, that person could be seriously injured. If anything could ruin a day by the pool, that could.

After installing your pool steps, you may want to add anti-slip material and handrails for even more safety. If you do not choose to do either of these things, you will definitely want to make sure that your steps are ribbed to prevent slipping. The people stepping on your steps will be wet, so do your best to prevent any slipping or accidents. After you have installed your steps, rest easy in knowing you have a safe swimming environment.

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Everything About Above-Ground Swimming Pool Steps

There is no better way to beat the heat than to splash around in your very own above-ground swimming pool! Such a backyard addition provides a ton of entertainment and relaxation. It is a wonder why not everybody has invested in such a great attraction. The installation of above-ground swimming pools is even a rather simple task. Most only take a few minutes to set up. Above-ground swimming pools provide simple fun, but we cannot forget about safety. We must install steps for our pool before we can enjoy the cool water.

Above-ground swimming pools are generally pretty high off the ground, so you will not want people trying to climb in and out without steps to help them. For maximum safety, you will need steps on the outside and on the inside of the pool. Your swimmers will have a very hard time getting in and out of the pool without these steps. You do not want to make it a hassle to go swimming, so install these steps and make everyone safe and happy.

The cost of these steps can be very affordable, depending on the material that you choose. They are available in plastic (for plastic pools, usually), vinyl (for vinyl pools), aluminum (for aluminum pools), and stainless steel (for galvanized steel pools). It is best to get steps that are made of the same material as your above-ground swimming pool because they will most likely last around the same amount of time as your pool. If you get a plastic pool and stainless steel steps, you will have steps long after your pool is gone. If you have a galvanized steel swimming pool and plastic steps, you will be replacing your steps quite often.

The stainless steel steps are by far the most durable, but they are also the most expensive. They will last about 20 years with a steel swimming pool. It is wise to have sturdy steps since they will be holding your weight and are meant to provide safety. The stainless steel steps are the best option, but coming in second are the aluminum steps. They are also a little more pricey, but will last longer than the plastic or vinyl steps.

Once you have chosen your material, you will need to figure out the structure of your steps. They should be placed in the safest and best area of your pool, and should not fall apart. If they were to break while someone was using them for support, that person could be seriously injured. If anything could ruin a day by the pool, that could.

After installing your pool steps, you may want to add anti-slip material and handrails for even more safety. If you do not choose to do either of these things, you will definitely want to make sure that your steps are ribbed to prevent slipping. The people stepping on your steps will be wet, so do your best to prevent any slipping or accidents. After you have installed your steps, rest easy in knowing you have a safe swimming environment.

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Types of Living Problems in Your Pool

There are a lot of things in the pool that are unseen to the eye. There are bacteria of course and single cellular organisms. But the single cellular organisms can become clusters of them and eventually become visible to the human eye. They are something you smell and see while you are swimming when the swimming facility is not sanitized very often. They are called, algae. They can thrive in many different environments. They can thrive in salt water or fresh, cold or warm. These are the more common species in your swimming area ,and they are named after their color.

Green

This sort can spread through the swimming area very fast and become a big problem overnight especially after a rainstorm. They feed off of nitrogen. Lightening and rainstorms give out plenty of nitrogen giving the green algae a feast. Therefore this is the most common type and the biggest problem for swimming pools.

Yellow

These are also known as "mustard algae". Just like the name indicates, this types of algae is yellow. These types are not aggressive growers like the green algae but like to take time to spread. It may be several weeks before you notice them. By then it will be hard to handle the growth. These kinds are hard to destroy because by the time you notice their growth; their protected shields have been built around them. These shields protect the organisms from any oxidization. Therefore oxidizing with chlorine will not affect this variety of algae. They prefer to thrive in the dark parts of damp sections such as: the plumbing and filters, where it is difficult to keep clean. You will need to treat this type with products designed solely for them. It is common to have to treat the area more than once in order to destroy them.

Black

This sort loves to grow and take over places such as: corners and places with poor circulation. Because of the poor circulation of the fluid, no just any sanitizing method cannot get to these parts. They are very a stubborn species that develop cells specializing in locking deep into pores of the surfaces it lives on. On top of the specialized cells, they have a strong outer layer of a waxy coating that keeps chlorine from penetrating, making them hard to destroy. Therefore the only solution to these problems will be to penetrate and destroy down to the last cellular wall thriving in deep pores. It is necessary to use more than one method or solution to kill this variety. Scrubbing down to the pores of the affected section is very necessary.

Conclusion

Algae are organisms that can spread and give you issues of cleanliness. It is important to make sure you clean and scrub the surface with necessary chemical solutions without harming your pool surface. It is important to keep good circulation so the solution is not kept stagnant for too long. Sanitize your surface daily and you should be able to be one step ahead of the growth.

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Steps to Take for Installing an Above-Ground Pool

An above-ground swimming pool is a great choice for families looking to buy a backyard oasis without dishing out up to $40,000. It will be a great addition to your property, but there are some necessary steps you need to take so that you can install your swimming pool.

Choosing the right type of landscape

There are so many options to choose from as far as landscaping around your above-ground pool. You can plant flowers, which are a beautiful addition to any type of pool. Potted plants set around the pool are typically a good addition to an above-ground pool. The only landscape that you will definitely want to avoid are large trees. The roots of big trees can grow under your pool and ruin the leveled ground, thus destroying the set-up of the pool.

Leveling the ground for your installation

It is very important to completely level the ground where you will be placing your above-ground swimming pool. Not having an even ground will give you great problems with the water level in any kind of above-ground pool. Often times, not having a level ground for your pool will cause the entire frame to collapse. It can destroy all of the work that you have put into making your pool perfect. If you are purchasing a large above-ground pool, you will need to hire someone who has leveling machines to come and level your backyard. But if you are buying a smaller sized pool, you will most likely only need some shovels, and you can level the ground yourself!

Placing a fence around your pool

Many counties require a fence to be put around backyard pools, but even if you are not required to do so, it is wise to place a fence around it for safety purposes. Young children and animals are at a high risk of drowning when a pool is not fenced in. Water is often enticing for children and if there is no obstacle, they will wind up near the pool. Fortunately, inserting a fence around your above-ground does not need to be extremely costly. There are many reasonable options for fences. In order to make your fence look a bit more presentable, you may want to put plants around the fence. A touch of nature can make anything look brighter.

Know what you are getting into

Having an above-ground pool is a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. It is a good idea to research all of the responsibilities that come along with owning your own swimming pool. For example, when you have a swimming pool in your backyard, it is necessary to vacuum multiple times a week, remove debris whenever it is noticed, and store all pool accessories when they are not being used. You will also need to take extra care of your pool as the seasons change. Winterizing your pool is a lot of work. Be aware of all of the responsibilities you will have, and enjoy!

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