Tuesday, August 23, 2016

WHY YOU DON'T WANT TO WAIT FOR THE SPRING


WHY YOU DON'T WANT TO WAIT FOR THE SPRING TO START A POOL

This summer has been hot, so very hot.  You may have been one of the people fighting the crowds for good sand space at one of the Massachusetts' beaches.  Maybe you are a beach person and were fine spending half a morning packing, paying to park, then trying to find some sand of your own and hoping that you will be able to get some good water time in before the high tide.  But maybe you had no choice so you fight the good battle.



Alternatively, perhaps you are like me, a pool girl at heart.  If so, maybe you are paying for a health club membership with pool privileges, or hoping that the neighbor will let you and the family take a dip. Now, after weeks and weeks of high humidity and blazing heat, you have decided that this is the last year without a pool.  The decision being made... when do you start the process?

So often, people think the right choice is to start fresh in the spring with constructing a pool.  The truth is... now is the time to act.

Why?  Well, for a few different reasons actually.

First, pool company schedules are a little more flexible in the fall.  In the spring, pool companies are inundated with construction, openings, and generally getting pools up and running for established customers.  If your pool company is not busy in the spring, you may want to question why that is.  Crews are limited as much resources are going into the service side of a company.  





Come September, many people are starting to close their pools which means less service which frees up crews for construction.  For those that are remaining open, the slightly cooler weather brings with it less difficulties with operation such as fewer water treatment issues and fewer filter cleaning service calls.  Again, all of this means less backlog for new construction.  


Secondly, and even more of an issue for spring construction is the New England weather.  Last year, we battled with having snow on the ground in May, while this year brought cold and rain well into the swimming pool season.  It is as the old saying goes, don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.  Unpredictable weather in New England, particularly in spring, makes swimming pool construction schedules somewhat of an Olympic event.  


While this doesn't mean a spring pool is not doable, it does make the timeline much more open to delays, so if you are looking to swim by a date certain, then you absolutely should consider starting the process in the fall.

It is now August and you're thinking that you are going to spend the next eight weeks writing checks and watching construction and then you will have to wait months before you are able to enjoy your pool.  Well, that is possible, but it is also possible with a warm fall and the help of a pool heater that you may at least be able to enjoy a few weeks of fun before the cold weather shows up.  Even if you aren't able to enjoy the pool this year, finishing the project before the winter months roll in still means that you will be able to opened and swimming as soon as the spring air comes to Massachusetts.  Wouldn't that be better than losing out on a whole two months of swimming time?

With fast turnaround for estimates, we can be breaking ground in your backyard before you know it. Call today to set up your free in home estimate.







Wednesday, August 10, 2016

THE WHOLE WORLD IS WONDERING WHAT IS WRONG



THE WHOLE WORLD IS WONDERING WHAT IS WRONG

The whole world is in a tizzy this morning about what happened to the Olympic pool in Rio and we cannot help but chuckle because it took us all but a minute to figure out the problem.  Why, because we see it constantly and the call goes something like this:

 I woke up this morning and my pool is mint green.

Further inquiry and we soon learn that water was added then the pool was shocked.  So, why do we ask those two questions?  It's all in the chemistry.

See when minerals, such as copper or iron, mix with Chlorinated water, the effect is that the water turns green.  It is almost instant.  Don't believe us?  Check out this YouTube video of the reaction - click here.   So we can tell you exactly what happened.  The pool likely is being shocked with high dosages of liquid chlorine overnight so that it is sanitary for the swimmers come morning.  Water is also probably being added as well, but here is where someone dropped the ball.  No one added the a mineral bonding agent, such as our Pool Magnet, before shocking the pool.  Ergo.... Green Water.   If you are a blonde, I bet you are now shaking your head in understanding because you have likely had green hair at some point in your life.  

Still don't believe us?   We had a client who called us in a panic due to an impending pool party at his home.  He had added water and shocked the pool and woke up to find this! 


Looks pretty familiar, doesn't it?  So, how fixable is this and how quickly can it be done?  It is really all in the filtration.  For a normal size pool, it can take about 48 to 36 hours of non-stop filtration after treating the pool with Pool Magnet.  For an Olympic size swimming pool, our bet would be about a week.  Now, is it dangerous to the swimmers?  No, other than the danger of not being able to see the bottom, there is no health risk to water turned green by minerals in the water.  

IS IT POSSIBLE IT IS SOMETHING ELSE?

While we would definitely bet minerals have something to do with the green, there is an alternative theory.  It could be algae.  We have all heard the news saying it happened "so fast."  Well, here is the thing, if it IS algae (and we still don't think it is), it really didn't happen so fast.  Algae hides in cells and is generally present before it is ever visible.  Phosphates, like such may be found in skin products, and nitrates, which tend to build up when water is in constant use and not always balanced as well as it should be, can both exacerbate algae growth in a pool.  So even when water chemistry "appears" to be fine, it may not prevent algae growth.  Algae will cause water to turn dark green and cloudy, think of a pond.  You cannot test for algae, so it is a culprit that often is there without anyone knowing until one day POW you wake up to a green swamp instead of your blue sparkling pool.  Why do we think it is still metals?  It is all in the color.  Based on the photos shown of the pool, the green doesn't have that deep, dark swamp look to it.  It has more of the minty green color we see in mineral laden pools.  Also, it wouldn't take much to confirm that it is algae verses something else.  All one would have to do is brush the side of the pool and see what looks almost like a "puff of smoke" coming off the wall.

Other alternatives, there is always that possibility that there is something weird in the water, perhaps not something that we see here in the states, but to us, it looks like your everyday copper problem.  

So here at Aquaknot Pools, we will continue to watch the saga unfold and maybe send an anonymous suggestion that they get a few cases of Pool Magnet Plus sent to Rio.  

GO TEAM USA!!!!





Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pools Are and Should Be Relaxing

POOLS ARE AND SHOULD BE RELAXING

So many times I am in the retail store and hear a customer come in and say that they "just want to fill it in." The frustration that they are feeling is troublesome to me and somewhat disheartening.  A pool should be fun and relaxing and not a hex that makes your summer miserable.  Is some of the frustration self-inflicted?  Perhaps.  With some smart investments, you can save your something in your life that is truly invaluable...time.  

SO, you open the pool, or maybe you have a pool service who opens the pool for you.  Great, now you have a green swamp, a filter running overtime, and the prospect that for the next three weeks your free time will be spent brushing, skimming, backwashing, and vacuuming.  Note this is when I hear many customers state that they will be filling in the pool.  My first thought is to say, "this too shall pass" and then duck as I am sure someone somewhere will likely throw something at me.  Like so many things in life, a swimming pool can be time consuming and feel like too much work to be worth, but it does not have to be.  There are many things a pool owner can do to make life easier and being here in Massachusetts, with a limited season, why not make some investments that put the fun back into pool life.  

1.  Preventative Steps - before you even take the cover off

First, remember that often it helps to take some proactive measures before taking off the cover.  If you can, pull back the cover before the pool is officially opened and throw in some liquid chlorine and algaecide. It must be liquid because the granular won't dissolve without the pool water filtrating.   Getting a head start can make a world of difference.  

2.  Equipment matters

Be sure to keep up with your equipment.  Are your filter cartridges old but you have been holding off on replacing them?  What about your pump?  The ability to clean up your pool in a reasonable amount of time greatly hinges on the efficiency of your equipment.  The money you aren't spending on making sure your equipment is working properly is likely being spent in extra chemicals, electricity, and time.  

If your equipment is on the older side, you may want to talk with your pool company about upgrades. Filtration systems today are easier than ever to run and maintain.  Gone are the days of spending an entire afternoon cleaning your filter.  They are now made much easier to disassemble, clean, and reassemble.  Additionally, new equipment will run more efficiently saving you not only time but money in energy costs.

3.  You put WHAT in your pool?

Repeat after me...What you put in the pool matters... A LOT.  Think you scored a great deal on chlorine and algaecide at that discount store?  Think again.  The active ingredients are often more than a third of what is in quality pool products.  There is also often fillers that may throw off the balance of other levels in a pool.  So if you want to use the cheap stuff, which we don't advise, at least save it for when the pool is up and running.

4.  Doesn't matter whether it is in your home or in your pool, no one wants to vacuum

Today's swimming pool autocleaners are like no others.  Pool robots are the way to go whether you have a gunite, vinyl liner, or even an above-ground pool.  Investing in a bot to clean your pool will save you valuable time which you can use to sit and enjoy your backyard.  Prices ranges vary for bots depending on the bells and whistles and the horse power.  It is best to do your research so that you get the right bot for your pool.     

5.  Sometimes it is just worth having someone else do the dirty work.

If you are in New England, it is a short season, so why not treat yourself right and pay someone else to maintain the pool.  Whether it is a weekly cleaning service or just a limited service, it is a small cost to pay for your peace of mind. 

Make sure when you look into a weekly service company you find out what is included and what is not included.  At Aquaknot, for an hourly charge, your pool is vacuumed, brushed down, water surfaced is skimmed and your baskets are cleaned from debris.  Additionally, we will make sure that you have chlorine in your baskets and your water is tested and balanced (chemicals are an extra charge).  

Perhaps you are just in need of some early in the season assistance.  While we do not provide short-term weekly service, we do provide filter cleaning services.  It is a good idea to pre-schedule your filter cleanings at the time you schedule your open.  Consider scheduling a weekly filter clean for the first few weeks after your pool is opened.  It can make an amazing difference in how fast you are up and running.


This is just a glimpse of some of top ways to make pool ownership easier.  Call us today to find out more tips!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Aquaknot Pools, Inc.: POOL CARE: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE GOING ON VACAT...

Aquaknot Pools, Inc.: POOL CARE: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE GOING ON VACAT...: POOL CARE:  WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE GOING ON VACATION Going on vacation is oftentimes exciting and stressful at the same time.  Pre...

POOL CARE: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE GOING ON VACATION



POOL CARE:  WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE GOING ON VACATION

Going on vacation is oftentimes exciting and stressful at the same time.  Preparations need to be made to prepare for your voyage. While you make your packing lists, you are also probably making your to do list for the house such as putting mail and paper delivery services on hold, maybe scheduling pet care, and for someone to keep an eye on your home.  If you are a pool owner, you should also be making preparation to ensure that you do not come home to a scene from swamp thing.  Our service manager, Patrick O'Connor, talked with me today about what steps you can take to keep your pool running and beautiful even if you aren't there.

1.  Keep the pool filtering

Many of our pools today have iAqualink systems.  This system allows a pool owner to run their pool from their home or even their smartphone.  This is a great system for people that are going to be out of town as it allows for simple programming.  If you do not have an iAqualink then be sure that you have timer pins to allow for ongoing circulation of the pool.  Patrick suggests running the system for at least 12 hours per day while you are away.

2.  Chlorinate Chlorinate Chlorinate!!! 


Chlorinating your pool is so important to keep the algae away during your trip.  If you have an automatic chlorination system, be sure that it is filled with chlorine sticks.  If you don't be sure to add new sticks before you leave.  

In addition to being sure you have chlorine, it is best to shock your pool the evening before you leave.  Superchlorinating the pool will bring your levels high for a day or so and will kill any algae that may already be growing.  



3.  Algae Preventative

An "initial dosage" treatment with Algae All 60, algae preventative, is a great way to prevent an algae breakout while you are away.  

4.  Ask for help


Do you have a friend or a neighbor nearby that could look in on your pool?  If you have a trusted neighbor or a nearby friend, it is always a good idea to have someone that can pop over and make sure the skimmer baskets are empty from debris, there is chlorine in the baskets and the pool is running properly. If you have a company that knows your pool, be sure to give your neighbor/friend their number in case of an emergency.

5.  Don't forget to lock the gate!

Any empty house is often a worry to vacationers.  You take steps to make the home look "alive" whether it be movement activated lights, timed lights or perhaps you left a car in the driveway.  It is very important to be sure that your pool gate is also locked.  Remember to give the code or key to the neighbor or friend who will be looking in on the property.

6.  Going to be gone for an extended period of time?  Consider a service

Aquaknot Pools offers a vacation chemical check service where we will come to your pool, check and treat the water chemistry, as needed, as well  make sure everything is still running fine.  Such a service can be extremely valuable to a family that may be taking an extended vacation this summer as it will be less costly than having to spend considerable money on balancing products and shock if the pool is not treated while you are away.  

Thanks Patrick for the great tips.  Need our vacation service?  Call us today to learn more!




Friday, July 1, 2016

Aquaknot Pools, Inc.: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THESE FIVE CHEMICALS IN YOUR PO...

Aquaknot Pools, Inc.: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THESE FIVE CHEMICALS IN YOUR PO...: Your menu is set, your guest list is confirmed, the holiday weekend is almost here.  Time to make sure your pool is ready to go and y...

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THESE FIVE CHEMICALS IN YOUR POOL HOUSE THIS WEEKEND



Your menu is set, your guest list is confirmed, the holiday weekend is almost here.  Time to make sure your pool is ready to go and you are prepared for anything:


1.  LIQUID CHLORINE

Liquid shock is a great product in a pint. It packs a quick punch.  A couple bottles of this can clear a pool quickly.  

2.  BANISH

Are there some black spots that have popped up on the pool or some green algae that just won't go away?  Banish is a strong algae killer for those tough to get rid of algae issues.  Pour it in and give it a good brushing (along with a shocking) and you will be rid of that algae in no time.  

3.  SMART SHOCK

Smart shock is an awesome product that doesn't get enough attention, in my opinion at least.  Wake up on the morning of your cookout to a dead animal in the pool or is green due to algae?  Don't want to lose the pool with lots of excited guests on their way?  Bioguard Smart Shock shocks your pool and gets you swimming in 15 minutes.  This is a MUST HAVE for a holiday weekend.  

4.  POOL MAGNET PLUS

Did you need to add some water to the pool?  Many towns in Massachusetts have high mineral contents.  Ever seen a blonde with green hair?  Ever shock the pool and see it transform to a mint green before your eyes?  Minerals + Chlorine = Green.  Prevent it by adding Pool Magnet Plus if you need to add water.  Pool Magnet Plus acts as a coating around minerals to prevent it from reacting with chlorine (or blondes for that matter).  

5.  POOL COMPLETE


Have you still not tried this stuff????  Pool Complete is Bioguard's newest product and the results have been amazing.  A capful of Pool Complete once a week removes phosphates and buildup from lotions and other oils from the water and leaves it sparkling and clear.  Don't believe me?  Click here to check out this awesome Bioguard Testimonial Video.  I can't decide what I want more after seeing this video - Pool Complete or a drone!


 Aquaknot Pools is opened all weekend (closed on July 4th) for your swimming pool needs with store locations at 55 Woodrock Road, Weymouth, MA and 54 Main Street, Lakeville, MA.  Come in for all your needs and make this Fourth of July carefree.  


From all of us at Aquaknot Pools, here is wishing you and your family a safe and happy Fourth of July!!!