Spring Openings are Happening in Salt Lake City, Utah

Can you believe it’s April already?!? Thankfully it is! And we’re having one of those lovely, warm springs that Utah is known for (or at least we should be :)). Which means it’s time to get those swimming pools up and running for the summer season.

If you want to have your pool clean, and ready to go before Memorial Day, carpe diem! Now is the time to schedule your spring opening! How do you do such a thing? Easy peasy, just call us at 801-208-9527 to schedule a convienet appointment. You’ll be surprised how worry free it can be.

How to Calculate Swimming Pool Volume: A Pool Volume Calculator

Have you ever wondered how to calculate the volume of your backyard swimming pool? There are many instances in which you will need to have an idea of how many gallons your swimming pool holds- like if you’re adjusting or adding swimming pool chemicals.

We found this handy little swimming pool volume calculator over at Pentair Water’s website. You will need to have an idea of how deep your pool is at both the shallow and deep end of the pool, as well as the basic shape. Enter those values in and push “calculate” and presto! the gallons (or volume of your pool) will be magically calculated.

If calculators are a little too much math for you, and you’ve always been curious about getting help with your Utah swimming pool maintenance– consider giving us a call. We are the only swimming pool company in Utah that specializes in swimming pool, spa, and hot tub service. We are pros when it comes to weekly and bi-weekly swimming pool care, including maintaining your swimming pool’s chemicals. Check us out on the world wide web at www.lifeguardpools.com or call at 801-208-9527 for a free estimate and friendly chit chat 🙂

3 Good Reasons To Schedule Your 2012 Utah Spring Opening Early

2012 is the year! This is the year you schedule your Spring Opening early! Why? Well we’ve got the answers below:

1. Mild Winter=Early Summer:
When the temperature is 70 degrees in March in Salt Lake City, Utah there’s a good chance you could be soaking up the rays poolside in spring this year. And you probably won’t be the only one of your neighbors to have the same idea. Call and schedule your spring opening early this year- and don’t worry, if the summer-like temperatures don’t hold, you can wait to turn on the pool heater until you- and the temperature- is ready.

2. An Ounce of Pool Prevention….:
Hopefully this won’t happen to you, but if you have the misfortune of discovering something has gone awry with your swimming pool or hot tub equipment over the winter months, don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your spring opening. That way you don’t risk spending Memorial Day waiting for a pool repair.

3. It’s Just Not Worth the Worry:
 

Seriously! It’s not worth missing those beautiful first days of swimming pool season waiting for your swimming pool company to come and get everything up and running. It’s not to early to schedule your swimming pool spring opening. Call us today at 801-208-9527 to schedule your Spring Opening. We look forward to having your pool up and running early this 2012 year.

Why is Ph Important to Your Salt Lake Pool

Turns out there are a lot of reasons that caring for the Ph of your swimming pool or spa is important. Check out the list below:
  • Chlorine, your pools sanitizer, is most effective when Ph is between 7.4 and 7.6. You should measure and check the Ph level regularly- or hire  Lifeguard Pools for regular swimming pool maintenance so we can watch it for you.
  • If the Ph of your pool drops below the 7.4 mark, the water becomes too acidic and the acidity of the water can eat away the plaster, plumbing and equipment- which of course leads to pre-mature wear of your pool.
  • If the Ph of your pool rises above 7.6, the water becomes scale-forming and can deposit scale on your plaster, plumbing and equipment- this can lead to your pool heater working less-efficiently.
  • Another important reason to monitor the Ph in your swimming pool is swimmer comfort. Ph levels that are too low or too high can lead to dry itchy skin, burning skin, eye irritation, etc.

What Are The Best Brands of Chemicals For My Pool Or Spa?

Utah Swimming Pool Supplies: Chemicals and Products

There are many choices when it comes to chemicals and products available for your Utah swimming pool and/or spa. How do you know what the right options are?  It’s recommended to check with a trusted swimming pool professional like ourselves. There is a lot of options out there on the world wide internet, but check out the brands we carry.

Swimming pool and spa chemical brands we carry and recommend are:

If you’re looking for a little more specific information on winterization or spring opening chemicals, keep on reading.

Swimming Pool Winterizing Chemicals and Supplies:

If the Utah snow is coming, chances are it’s time to winterize your swimming pool. It’s a tricky job and we carry the appropriate chemicals necessary to winterize your pool:

  • Winter Shock
  • Winter Algeacide
  • Winter Chlorine Floaters
  • Skimmer Gizmo
  • Winter Pill
  • Winter Antifreeze
  • Winter Plug
  • Winter Pool Cover
  • Water Tubes

Swimming Pool Spring Opening Chemicals and Supplies:

When you’re ready to slip back into your swimsuit, it’s time for your swimming pool spring opening. Even if last year’s swimsuit doesn’t cover you, we will, with our supply of spring opening products and services:

  • Pool Shock Products
  • Water Clarifiers
  • Algeacides

How Do I Know When It’s Time to Clean My Swimming Pool Filter?

Q. How do I know when it’s time to clean my swimming pool filter?

A. When a brand new filter, filter elements, or sand is installed on a pool and the system is first started up, you should take note of the pressure gage at the top of the filter and make note of that number. When the filter pressure rises more than 10 lbs. above that number it is time to backwash or clean your filters. Since the hydraulics of every pool are different, that starting number will be different on every pool.

After you have cleaned or backwashed the filters the pressure gage should read at it’s original starting position. You may find that your filters need to be cleaned as often as once a week, or sometimes as little as once a year, depending on the type of filter, water, climate, etc. The pressure gage should determine the amount of time between cleanings, not the calendar. If you have to clean your filters too often (more than once a week), it’s likely time to replace your filter media entirely. 

Of course our advice is particularly gaged for swimming pool owners along the Wasatch Front in Utah. 

What Do I Do If My Swimming Pool Isn’t Heating?

All of our years of taking care for the backyard (and the occasional front yard) swimming pool and spas of Salt Lake City and all the surrounding Utah areas have taught us a thing or two. Some of our hard-earned knowledge can be found below:

Q. What do I do if my swimming pool isn’t heating?

A. The first thing to check is that the pump is running and is fully primed (meaning water is moving through it). If water is not flowing through the system, the heater won’t turn on.

The second thing to check is your heater’s pilot light, if your heater has a pilot light. To make sure it is lit by take off the front panel of the heater, get down on the floor, and look in the center of the heater where you should see a small, blue flame. If it’s not lit, follow the instructions on the inside of the door to light the pilot light.

The third thing to check is the contents of the traps and baskets. If the traps and baskets are full they can clog the system and prevent enough water flowing through the system.

If none of the above works, you’ll want to make sure filter pressure isn’t reading too high. Filter pressure should not go up more than 10 lbs. from when the clean filters were installed. If the gage reads 10 lbs above it’s “clean pressure” then you need to backwash or clean the filter(s). If none of the above work, call a swimming pool professional- like us- as there could be any number of other issues preventing your pool heater from working.

Swimming Pool Chemicals: Getting to Know Chlorine

In our last post about pool chemicals we talked about how chlorine is the most common pool disinfectant. It’s also a common household product (read: bleach, although it’s more diluted than what you would be adding to your Utah swimming pool). So what should you know about chlorine?

Chlorine is typically prepared in liquid, powder or tablet form (though some professionals use gaseous chlorine), and it can be added to the water anywhere in the cycle. Chlorine comes in different strengths, and all chlorines are definitely not created equal. Pool experts generally recommend adding it just after the filtering process, and specifically after the heater here in Utah (since for the most part, all pools in Utah tend to have heaters, specifically up here along the colder part of the Salt Lake Valley). You don’t want to be flowing highly chlorinated water through the pool equipment, especially your heater. One way some pool owners add chlorine to their pools is through the skimmer boxes, which isn’t very safe because the chlorine tends to be too concentrated in those areas.

One problem with hypochlorous acid is that it’s not particularly stable. It can degrade when exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun, which of course all pools are subject to, and chlorine may combine with other chemicals to form new compounds. Pool chlorine tablets often include a stabilizing agent, such as cyanuric acid, that reacts with the chlorine to form a more stable compound that does not degrade as easily when exposed to ultraviolet light. You should be testing your pool, at least at the beginning of the summer, to make sure your cyanuric acid level is the right level (less than 100 parts per million and greater than 30 parts per a million according to the Health Department).

Even with a stabilizing agent, hypochlorous acid may combine with other chemicals, forming compounds that are not very effective sanitizers. For example, hypochlorous acid may combine with ammonia, found in urine, among other things, to produce various chloramines. Not only are chloramines poor sanitizers, but they can actually irritate the skin and eyes and have an unpleasant odor. The distinctive smell and eye irritation associated with swimming pools are actually due to chloramines, not ordinary hypochlorous acid — a strong smell usually means there is too little free chlorine (hypochlorous acid), rather than too much. To get rid of chloramines, you have to shock treat the pool, which is to say, to add an unusually strong dose of chemicals to clear out organic matter and unhelpful chemical compounds.

Chlorine also affects the overall pH balance of the pool, and also is effected by the overall pH balance of the pool. As overall pH rises, chlorine is slowed down and is slower to kill bacteria.  And as pH lowers beyond 7.5, the chlorine effectiveness speeds up killing bacteria faster, but also becoming unstable where it is “spent” more quickly.

And that, my friends, is how chlorine works in your swimming pool.

*Thanks to HowStuffWorks “Pool Chemicals” for help in writing this article.

Utah Pool Supplies: Chemicals and Products

Do you know how many different types of swimming pool chemicals, supplies, and products are out there? Neither do we, but we do know it’s a pretty big and overwhelming number. There are a lot of brands, types, and options to choose from. How do you know what to use?

Your best bet is to turn to the professionals- you know, like us. Since we spend a lot of time figuring out the best chemicals for your pool or spa, we’ll explain the difference between shock treatments, clarifiers, and cleaners.


Not All Swimming Pool Chemcials Are Created Equal

Have you ever stumbled across what appears to be a great deal on 3 inch Chlorine Tablets at your local big-box retailer? Were you tempted to buy them?

Shhh, it’s OK if you were, but know that not all swimming pool and spa chemcials are created equal. As a general rule, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. You need to pay attention to the ingredients and percentages of what you’re buying. So let’s look at our example of 3 inch Chlorine Tablets, make sure they offer the same amount or percent of chlorine that you’re used to getting. It’s like your mom said: you get what you pay for.

If you’re ever in doubt of what you’re about to pay for, give us a call at 801-208-9527 and we’ll let you know, or sign up for our chemical service anywhere along the Wasatch Front of Utah (from Ogden to Provo, including Salt Lake City). We’ll deliver chemcials right to your door, and we’d be more than happy to tell you more about our weekly and bi-weekly regular route maintenance for your Utah swimming pool, spa or hot tub.