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. 

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.

Recreation Utah: The Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy, Utah.

We’re really excited to use one of our new Christmas gifts: a gift certificate to The Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy, Utah. Maybe it’s because we’re swimming pool people, but the idea of getting up close and personal with some water-dwelling animals sounds pretty fun.

We haven’t had a chance to go yet, but after reviewing their website (http://www.thelivingplanet.com/) we think we’ll enjoy the visit and might even upgrade to the membership- it definitely seems worth it.

Has anyone visited the Aquarium before? What did you think?

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.

How do you Repair Cracks in In-ground Gunnite Pools in Utah?

Good question, and we’re glad you asked. There are a couple of options.

First of all cracks in in-ground gunnite pools don’t always leak and consequently you don’t always have to fix them. If you see a hairline crack it might not necessarily mean you have to fix them because they might not be leaking or leaking enough to matter.

If you do suspect the crack is leaking try one of these options:

1. Inject dye next to the crack and watch and see if the dye gets sucked into the crack.

2. A dye-free option is to clean the swimming pool, and then within a day or two check out the crack and see if dirt or debris to begin building up in the crack.

If you determine the crack is leaking you probably want to put an end to it. You have two options:

1. Calcium Ball: This is a DIY measure. A calcium ball is a mixture of cement and calcium mixed with enough water that you can form it to a ball. You’ll take the calcium ball and either reach under the water or get in the pool and rub it into the crack. This works because calcium makes cement set or “go off” very quickly. This often works and works well, but it’s likely you’ll eventually have another crack. It’s worth a try but not necessarily a long term solution. (This option is if you have a traditional white plaster pool)

2. The best way to fix a crack is to drain a pool, exposing the crack, and hire a professional (like us) who will take a diamond blade saw and cut the crack open two inches wide and two inches deep the length of the crack. We will then fill the bottom of the crack with an industrial grade caulking product and patch in the plaster 1-2 days later, after the caulking has cured. Doing that is a much more permanent way to fix the crack, although there are no guarantees because pools may still be settling.

There you have it! If you’re having problems with cracks in your pool, give us a call at 801-208-9527 to fix your Utah pool.

How To Choose Winterizing Chemicals For Your Swimming Pool

Oprah may have her favorite things, and we have ours, specifically for winterizing your swimming pool and/or spa. Some of our favorites? We’re so glad you asked….

  • BioGuard Silk Winter Floater WP:  The Silk Winter Floater WP’s unique design keeps two 1/2 lb. chlorinating silk sticks well below the winter cover line to provide long-lasting, continuous chlorination during the winter months. For white plaster pools only.
  • GLB Algimycin Winter Algeacide (aka Wintertrine): For a simplified approach to seasonal algae protection, GLB Pool & Spa® offers this non-foaming, non-metallic winter algaecide to ensure a hassle-free opening in the spring.
  • BioGuard Winter Shock II: Winter Shock II is our popular, lithium-based winter shock treatment ideally suited for vinyl and above-ground pools. Packaged in convenient 1 lb. bags it dissolves quickly, won’t cloud water, and oxidizes organic wastes.
  • RV Antifreeze: Just make sure to use “RV” anitfreeze, not the other stuff which is highly toxic.

These are a few of our favorite things, err, we mean pool chemicals we use for preparing your Salt Lake City swimming pool for the bitter Utah winter. Contact us for prices and scheduling at 801-208-9527.

Lifeguard Pools and Spas: The Best Swimming Pool Company in Utah

Yah we said it, we think we’re the best Swimming Pool Company in Utah.  Why? Well, lot’s of reasons. We’d love to tell you about some of them.

Reasons We’re the Best Swimming Pool Company in Utah:

  • We service all areas of the Wasatch Front from Ogden to Spanish Fork and everything in between, and we don’t charge you extra for coming to your corner of the Utah neighborhood.
  • We specialize in swimming pool and spa service, repair, and remodeling for swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs in Utah. We know this crazy Utah weather and the effects on your swimming pool and hot tub equipment so no matter if you live in Salt Lake City, Alpine, or Orem, we’re got you covered (well, we’ve got your pool covered, that is).
  • Our business is based on the principal that every swimming pool and spa owner should get the best service, all the time, without having to pay an extravagant price. It may seem unusual, but we think a highly customized level of swimming pool and spa service shouldn’t be so hard to come by.
  • Lifeguard Pools and Spas provides the highest level of customer service by arriving on time, thoroughly completing the agreed upon work in a timely manner, and charging a fair price. It seems we’re just old fashioned that way.

Intrigued? Then give us a call to find out more: 801-208-9527.

Still curious about what areas of Utah we service: Check out the handy list below:

  • Salt Lake City,
  • Murray
  • Holladay
  • South Jordan
  • Midvale
  • Sandy
  • Riverton
  • Highland
  • Alpine
  • Orem
  • Provo
  • Farmington
  • Bountiful

Is it really winter?

Some chicken, pork and corn in the barbeque

Image via Wikipedia

The sudden change of weather makes us wish for warmer pool party days. It seems like just yesterday (or at least just last month) that you could take a dip in the pool, fire up the BBQ, and enjoy a late evening outdoors.

Geez, aren’t we putting a damper on the winter party! At least we have our hot, hot tubs to keep us warm for the next few months.

Some of our favorite things about winter include:

  • The holidays: bring on the cookies!
  • Toddlers and snow: a pretty entertaining mix.
  • The Nutcracker: we’re suckers for this winter classic
  • Food: yes, lot’s and lot’s of food.
What are your favorite things about winter?