Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Aquaknot Pools, Inc.: Were You One of the Pool Owners Cursing This Sprin...

Aquaknot Pools, Inc.: Were You One of the Pool Owners Cursing This Sprin...: We all jumped for joy over the dry, almost snow free winter, we had here in the Northeast last winter; however, if you are a pool owner,...

Were You One of the Pool Owners Cursing This Spring?



We all jumped for joy over the dry, almost snow free winter, we had here in the Northeast last winter; however, if you are a pool owner, then you learned that it is not always good to have such a mild winter.  

Mild temps, little snow, and little rain meant swimming pools that could pass for a swamp.  Our beloved customers came into the store in droves threatening to fill in the pool if they had to clean the filter one more time.   Gallons and bags of shock passed through our doors at record speeds.  We sympathized with all of you during this time and we hated to give you the answer you didn't want to hear which is that you just had to let it filter, keep shocking and adding chlorine, and keep clearing the filter.  

Then, you finally got it perfect, right?  It was beautiful without a spec of algae in sight when mother nature struck again with one of the hottest summers on record.  Again, the battle ensued of shocking, brushing, and backwashing.  Let's face it, being a pool owner this summer was hard work.  Well, unless you used our weekly pool service and let us do the dirty work.

So, here we are now.  You are at the end of your season.  Whether you handle the closing the pool
on your own or you use a company, there are things you can and should be doing to maybe avoid what you went through last spring.  Here are the top ways to make spring 2017 a happy start to your pool season:


1.  OPEN EARLY

We are already booking openings for many of our customers for 2017.  It can take one to three weeks easily to clear your pool up following the opening.  Those customers that open early are often up and running faster.  The openings book up fast and so those that have already booked know they are getting opened early and will be swimming sooner.

Don't want to spend the extra money opening sooner?  Think of it this way, if you open later, then your pool equipment has to run longer and harder to keep up with the amount of algae growth that occurs as the result of a later opening.  All of this equals more chemicals, higher electric bills, and more man hours.  The difference between an April opening and a May opening can be drastic. Consider that most winter shocks and algae inhibitors last about 90 days, prolonging your opening another month means dirtier, greener water.  Of course if you do want to wait til May, there are things you can still do to "save yourself" and we will talk about those things soon, if you have the ability to open early, we say call us now!

2.  USE RELIABLE, QUALITY WINTERIZING CHEMICALS

We all know that it can be very appealing to hit the local discount store to buy chemicals for your pool but for off season pool care, now is not the time to tighten the wallet.  Winter chemicals are put into your pool at or about the time that the water stops circulating.  That means the chemicals will remain mostly stagnant in the water from about October through April (because you are going to take my advice).  There are so many reasons why it is important to buy quality products for wintertime, just like during the season.  Let's start with the fact you paid a lot of money for this pool and you don't want to have to resurface it or replace a vinyl liner due to poor water quality.  

But wait, there are more reasons.  Many of the discount brands are diluted, have less active ingredients, or can even be expired.  This means they are likely not going to do their job and if you are a true New Englander, you know our new motto is "DO YOUR JOB" so why buy a product that is not likely to work to its true potential.  You need a product that is going to last the maximum amount of time or it is not worth buying so while you may have to pull out a few more dollars, we promise it will be worth it in the long run.  

3.  CLOSE A POOL DIRTY, OPEN A POOL DIRTY


It is never advisable to close your pool without a good vacuum.  The best openings start with a clean closing.  Leaves and debris left at the bottom of the pool can cause staining over the winter.  While there are products that can lighten and erase those stains, the purpose of this article is to help you save time and avoid common problems, so heed our warnings, get the vacuum out and give the pool one last cleaning before the cover goes on.  


4.  A LITTLE LATE WINTER LOVE DOESN'T HURT

So, you know that you don't want the pool opened early or perhaps we get another warm winter.  Schedule a reminder for yourself to pull back the cover and add another bottle of algaecide and a gallon of liquid chlorine to your pool about a month before you are scheduled to open.  This will cover that final month when the winter chemicals have stopped working and it will get you ready for opening.  If you have a solid cover, this is also a great time to pump the water off the cover and clear the leaves that have accumulated.  


While we cannot guarantee that all of this will mean you will be opening up to a crystal clear pool, we can tell you that it will sure give you a great start to next season.  Remember, to call early for your opening as we start to book up in early March.  






Click here or call us today: 781-335-7705

Friday, September 9, 2016

Why it is Best to Leave Closing Your Pool to the Professionals

Whether you are a long time pool owner or fairly new to the process, one of the most important parts of your pool care is the care in properly winterizing your pool.  In Massachusetts especially, the harsh winters can cause serious damage to your pool, if not properly winterized.  Two years ago, in one of the harshest winters on record, I had our town water company at the home explaining to me that the underground pipes leading to my home were frozen solid and that even though I run my water throughout the day, when temps get as low as they currently were, there is not much you can do.  At that comment, I couldn't help but thinking of all those swimming pools out there.  Maybe if you are a pool owner, you thought about this a lot during that winter as well.  Well, when you weren't out searching for your shovel under six feet of snow.  So... reasons why it is best to leave pool closings for the professionals:

1.  Protecting those pipes

Winterizing a pool involves blowing any water out of the pipes filling the pipes with antifreeze and plugging them up after.  If not done properly, those pipes can freeze and crack and those cracks can be costly to repair.  Just consider the cost of a cracked pipe under your pool deck.  Not only will you have to pay to repair the pipe, but you will likely need to rip up a portion of your deck to get to it.  Aquaknot closes over 600 pools each year.  Our team is skilled in winterizing swimming pool lines and many of our team members have been doing it for over a decade.  It is in their blood, so to say.  While you or your spouse may be handy around the house, why not leave this job to the professionals. 

2.  Warranties!!!

A reputable  pool company (and I stress the reputable part) will warranty their closing.  That means if a pipe bursts because it wasn't properly winterized, the company will take responsibility for the repair. This is important to ask before hiring a person/company to close your pool.  There are a lot of people out there that will claim to have the knowledge to properly close your pool, but if something happens, are those same people going to stand by his/her work?  As mentioned above, an error in winterizing can be expensive, time consuming, and delay the start of your swimming pool season the following year.  Not only does hiring a professional take the stress and time off your hands in closing the pool, but it will give you peace of mind that if something does go wrong (not that anything should so long as you hire the right person),  you are covered.  

3.  It's the total package

I cannot vouch for other companies but when you hire us to 
complete a full (meaning we also put the cover on) closing, then you hire us to do it all.  Our closing includes removing baskets, breakdown and cleaning the filter, blow out your lines and winterize with antifreeze, secure your cover and put everything away for the winter.  Our regular customers also enjoy the knowledge that if there is an issue that will need to be resolved before or at the time of their opening, we will be ready to move forward with little disruption to our customer's pool opening.  

4.  Why do the work when you can pay someone to do it for you

There are better ways to spend your weekends in the fall months.  Why spend a morning winterizing and closing your pool when you can enjoy going to your child's soccer game, leaf peaking, or apple picking?  Let someone else close up shop for the winter and go enjoy yourself!





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