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Protect Your Equipment from Frozen Pipes

Mark Thompson - Thursday, January 04, 2018
Freezing temperatures can bring expensive damage to your pump, filter, heater, salt system, plumbing, and other pieces of equipment costing up to several thousands of dollars for repairs. Taking the necessary precautions can save you from these expensive repairs. If you close your pool Call Absolute Pool & Spa Care to close your pool properly. We have the necessary equipment to blow your lines completely and the knowledge to advise you of other precautions you can take to safely go throughout the winter without issues. We have seen too many problems occur from customers who do it themselves and don't do it thoroughly or properly and incur major expenses in repairs from freeze damage during the winter season. If you keep your pool open Automated systems: If you have an automated system with electronic controls and remotes, make sure your freeze sensor is working and that your pumps are turned "On" for freeze protection. You can check your freeze sensor by taking a cup of ice water and dip your sensor in the cup. Let it sit fir a few minutes and the pump should turn on automatically. If it doesn't, then there is a problem and you need to call us for repairs. Call quickly since problems can occur overnight. Timer Systems: If you have a manual timer (most are by Intermatic), make sure there is freeze guard connected to it. This freeze guard can be mounted in the same box as the timer or it can be on a seperate box. It will have a dial with numbers ranging usually from 33 degrees to 42 degrees. Keep the dial above 35 degrees to be on the safe side. If you do not have a freeze guard, MAKE SURE you call us to install one. They are very minor in cost compared to freeze damage. You need to have one for every pump you own. If you are under duress and have no time to make these adjustments or corrections, do whatever you can to make sure your equipment is kept warm. You can do this by using heat tape, foam insulators, blankets, heat lamps, etc.  We hope this helps. If you ever have any concerns or doubts, make sure to call us for a visit. You can reach us at (770) 886-7870, download our App which you can find on Google under "Absolute Pool & Spa Care" and on you Apple product under "Absolute Pools", email us at https://www.absolutepoolandspacare.com/contact-us, or our Facebook page at Facebook.com/AbsolutePSC

Safety Covers vs. Solid Covers

Mark Thompson - Monday, August 29, 2016
Why do they even make solid covers??? I wonder this every year after hearing at least 1 horror story of the death of a family pet that was trapped in the pool after running on the solid cover with no way to escape once they got submerged in the water. While I have been fortunate to not have had any clients that have lost a child, I have heard of such stories. It is tragic. It is sad. And it is completely avoidable. Solid covers were designed to be an economical way to cover a pool for winterization to keep leaves, dirt, and debris out of the pool. They are large pieces of tarp that are held in place by water bags. These water bags are placed side by side around the perimeter of the pool using the weight of the water to hold the cover in place. These solid covers have many attributes that help make them unsafe. Since the covers are set in place by water bags, any weight that gets on the cover can slide the cover from underneath the water bags and allow the cover to fall in the pool. Can you imagine if that weight ends up being a child or a pet or any other animal that may happen to wander on to the cover? What if a young child chases a ball or another toy onto that cover?  The leaves, dirt, and debris that the cover is designed to prevent getting into the pool ends up staying on the cover with all the rain, snow, and ice. It makes your cover extremely dirty and turns your yard into a messy haven for mosquitoes. What an eyesore!  In addition, when the cover is removed in the Spring, guess where all that nasty debris goes...in the pool. Have fun cleaning that up? Your other option is cleaning the cover prior to opening. Have fun doing that. The water bags are made of a thin vinyl that is easily susceptable to being punctures or developing a pinhole leak. Since the water leaks out, the water bag is no longer helping hold the cover in place. This is making the cover even more unsafe. Every year, we are consistently removing bricks, weights, planters or other materials that a client used to replace a water bag in the hopes that this will keep the cover in place. A lot of the times, it doesn't and the client is either having to clean the mess up in the pool or pay to have a service company do it. What a mess. What's a better option?  A safety cover is your best option and a safe one! A safety cover is held tightly across the pool by anchors that are mounted in your deck. They are custom made for a perfect fit for your pool. While it looks like a trampoline, it does not bounce. However, it is so strong, it can hold the weight of a car! It is extremely...

Why is Conditioner Important for My Pool?

Mark Thompson - Tuesday, July 05, 2016
What is conditioner? Conditioner's technical name is cyanuric acid. It is also called stabilizer. Cyanuric acid can be added manually to the pool. It is also found in chlorine tablets and some chlorine granules that you find in the big box stores and some high volume pool stores (not a good thing). Keep away from chlorine granules that have conditioner/stabilizer/cyanuric acid included. When you need chlorine, purchase strictly chlorine (not including inert ingredients). When you need conditioner, purchase conditioner. We will explain in greater detail in a bit. For simplicity, we will be referring to cyanuric acid as conditioner for the rest of this article. What does conditioner do? Conditioner helps keep the chlorine from dissipating from the UV rays from the sun. As the UV rays hit chlorine, it cause the chlorine to be burned off quicker, costing you money and creating more maintenance. Conditioner actually puts a protective barrier over the chlorine molecule making it harder for the UV rays to affect it. This allows the Free Chlorine (the good form of chlorine) to last longer in your pool and be more efficient. We want chlorine to kill bacteria instead of being burned out, right? Chlorine costs too much! How do I add conditioner? There are a couple of acceptable ways to add conditioner. You can slowly add it to your skimmer with the basket in place. Very important. If you add it quickly with the basket removed, it can harden inside your pipes and create a cementitious clog. Pouring it slowly with the basket in place allows the conditioner to disperse at a broader range through the vents of the basket. If you have some gloves on, you can swirl it around in the skimmer to make sure none settles in the basket. You do not want it to settle in the basket because that can cause priming issues with your pump and may take longer to dissolve.  Once the conditoner is added to the skimmer, the pump will carry it into the filter where it will sit and dissolve. It will take a few days for the conditioner to settle completely so test the water at least 5 days later to get an accurate reading. The ideal range is between 30-50 ppm. Once at the appropriate range, conditioner will probably need to be added about once every 1-3 months. Another way to add it is put it in a stocking and tie it in front of your returns in your pool. The water shooting out of your returns will erode the conditioner. Make sure no kids play with the stocking so you need to be careful. Always read the directions on the back of the conditioner's container for that manufacturer's recommended way to add the condioner. If too much conditioner is added, you will need to drain the pool several inches, if not more, and dilute with fresh water. It is important to test your conditioner level prior to adding. This is another reason to stay...

Salt Systems: Pros and Cons

Mark Thompson - Monday, June 06, 2016
Are you contemplating on getting a salt system? Heard pros and cons and they have confused you more? Is it worth the expense? Let's see if I can help you with some of these questions for you. We are going to keep things simple to help the majority understand the process. If you're last name is Tesla, Einstein, or Jobs and you want greater information. Please contact us and we will be happy to assist you and get your autograph. How does a salt generator work? A salt system takes salt, which is sodium chloride (NaCl), and turns it into hydrogen gas and hypochlorous acid (chlorine, to keep it simple) by  electrolysis. Once the chlorine comes in contact with bacteria, it reverts back into salt and repeats the process. (There is a more complex explanation but we are keeping things simple.) The chlorine is produced by a salt cell which is installed after the pump. The pump moves water through the generator and engages a flow switch. Once that flow switch is engaged, it tells the "brains" of the system, "Hey, we have water moving. Let's make some chlorine." The generator receives power and the magic happens. Why should I get a salt system? The greatest advantage in my eyes is that it keeps a consistent level of chlorine in the pool. You can set the percentage of chlorine output. Once you get the system producing a consistent level between 2-5 ppm, it will stay there, as long as the pump continues to run a minimum of 8 hours a day. If you have a large party, heavy rain, or other rare events that happen in the pool, you can simply hit a "Boost" or "Superchlorinate" button to revive the chlorine level. By keeping a consistent level of chlorine in the pool, your odds of having algae, cloudy, or discolored water is greatly reduced...and you didn't have to add chlorine manually! It did it all by itself! This will help eliminate your need for chlorine tablets and greatly reduce your shock by as much as 95%!  This will also reduce eye irritation and skin dryness as it tends to be much more soothing to most people. Side note: If you are still getting eye and skin irritations, it is probably from a low or high pH (the measure of acidity) level. If you take care of the pool yourself, the salt system will save you time. It makes the chlorine by itself, keeping you from having to add the chemicals manually. It will also save you money in chemical expenses. Once again, no chlorine tablets and shock reduced by as much as 95%. What is the downside of a salt system? A salt system's downside is overcome by the upside. However, here are the downsides. The initial price is costly. If installed properly, the system, labor, initial dose of salt, and miscellaneous things such as a check valve, zinc anode, etc. can cost between $2000-$2500.00. If you are purchasing a salt system...