Air Lock Might Be Why Your Pool Pump's Not Priming
Air lock might be the reason your pool pump is struggling to prime at start up. Air lock happens when the pool plumbing or spa plumbing rises above the horizontal inlet of the pool pump.
There is almost always a three-way valve involved in air lock situations. Why the original plumber created the raised three-way valve to be plumbed so high is probably to be easily accessible. However, it does cause this problem, and it is the way it is. So, we deal with it.
When air lock happens the pump will struggle until it's replumbed the right way. Additionally, the higher the plumbing, the more the pump will struggle to prime. Experienced pool guys will tell you that when air lock is in action and the pump is struggling to prime, a visible and audible surging action occurs within the pump pot.
Usually, the pump will eventually prime but not before heat is generated on the pump and fittings. Over time the heat will create a vacuum leak or leaks on the threaded inlet and the pump will then have another obstacle to conquer.
Swimming pool's inlet plumbing should never rise above the level of the pump inlet height.
If you are experiencing a pool or spa pump that is struggling to prime at start up, contact a professional today. A good professional knows about pool and spa pumps and the reality of air lock and can get your pool back in working order as soon as possible. Image by Richard Elzey
Want to learn more about pool maintenance? Please check out these articles on our blog:
- Keeping Your Pool Clean: Adult Swim Diapers
- Does Chlorine Makes Your Eyes Sting?
- Dry Drowning How to Be Aware
- Backwash: It's a Good Thing
Adult swim diapers?! Yep! If you read last month's article about chlorine, you'll remember we talked about how chlorine actually reacts with urine and feces in the pool to produce irritants and this is one of the reasons why some people's eyes "sting" after swimming. The article also talks about how babies and toddlers should use swim diapers (changed frequently) to help avoid this problem. But what about the older sect of swimmers? Swimming and aquatic exercise among the elderly is quite popular. It's easy on the joints and keeps the body cool. However, it's no secret that as our bodies age, incontinence can be one of the burdens we bear. So, to keep the fear of incontinence altering your experience in the pool at bay, use adult swim diapers.
Swim diapers can be used on water adventurers of any age, from infants to adults. Although, incontinence is known to be common as we age, it can affect other ages as well.
Wearing a properly sized swim diaper will protect from leaks and will not let pool water soak in. Many of them are now washable and reusable and there's of course, disposable ones. Swim diapers are slim and fit tightly to be discreet underneath a bathing suit.
It is important to realize that just as a "regular diaper" on a baby swells up when wet from submersion/swimming, so does a "regular pad or diaper" of the adult variety. Regular pads or diapers become bloated with water and easily allow for waste to leak into the pool. It's important to make sure you have an actual swim diaper on. Instead of bloating up, swim diapers actually allow water to pass through so it doesn't soak up.
Don't let pesky adult incontinence keep you from enjoying all the health benefits from being in a swimming pool. Get proper protection and take to the pool like a fish to water.
- Getting Your Pool Spring and Summer Ready
- Backwash: It's a Good Thing
Getting Your Pool Spring and Summer Ready
Winter's done. Hibernation is over. This means for your pool too. It's time to bring your splash zone out of slumber and into the marvelous light of the sun!
There's more to opening your pool for the season than filling it up and jumping in. Opening your pool correctly is extremely important for the pool as well as the swimmers. Check out these eight steps to opening your pool for the swimming season.
1) Don't empty your pool. First of all, don't empty your pool even if you live in a cold climate unless you absolutely have to for structural work that needs to be done on it for example. Why? Because draining the pool can bring bit problems such as an empty pool in a high water table can lift it right out of the ground without the weight of the water to hold it down. If this happens, you could be looking at a total pool replacement.
2) Spring clean your pool. Perform a "chemical open" by putting the filtration system together, cleaning out all the baskets and removing any plugs that you put in the pool when it was closed for the winter. While working on this, leave the cover on the pool.
3) Top it off. Top off the water level if it's fallen over the winter. Also, be sure to clean the filter before you turn it on. You can clean a cartridge filter by removing the cartridge and washing it with a hose. If you have a sand filter, set the filter to backwash which will clean the sand and then turn it back to the normal setting.
4) Get a pro to test the water. It's a good idea to have the water professionally tested. They'll do a complete test including mineral content, total alkalinity and the pH and the chlorine levels. They will tell you what needs to be adjusted and by how much.
5) Balance your chemicals. Bring pH levels to between 7.2 and 7.4. Bring total alkalinity between 80 to 120. Bring calcium hardness to between 150ppm to 250 ppm (parts per million). Lastly, bring chlorine between 1ppm to 3ppm.
It's really not a bad idea to get a professional to take care of all of this for you as well.
6) Let the water clear up. Don't take the plunge into your pool just yet. The filter needs to be cleaned every day until the water is clear. This could take about a week. You may need to add more chlorine. Don't remove the cover or take a swim until you can see the pool floor.
7) Finishing up. Finish up the summer time prep steps by vacuuming all the leaves and debris from the bottom once you remove the cover.
8) Maintain. From here on out, keep the filter clean, test the water levels every day and vacuum once a week.
-Dry Drowning: How to be Aware
Bloom. Awe. What a wonderful word that brings to mind spring time flowers and blossoms with sweet fragrances and vivid colors. Yes, bloom can be a fantastic word. However, what if a "bloom" could also attack your swimming pool?! Eeek! That is exactly what an algae bloom can do in the matter of one night! There are several types of algae that can live in your pool and most of them can be pretty easily eliminated with proper pool chemistry. The exception might be black algae, however, which is the hardest to get rid of in your pool. With pool season just around the corner for your seasonal pool peeps or for those of you who are year round fishies, here are some steps to help you fight and eliminate black algae.
What is black algae anyway?
The color of algae in your pool indicates a lot about its strength. Green algae is pretty common and easy to eliminate. Black algae, on the other hand, is extremely aggressive. Black algae appears as small spots and spores on the surfaces of the pool. Simple shocking or adding of algaecide to your pool will not do the trick. The roots of the black algae bloom tend to live and anchor in the cracks of the pool plaster and finish. It's for this reason that this bloom is so hard to get rid of.
How to fight back:
You will need to attack it head on and to do so, you'll need:
With the gloves on, rub the black algae spot with the chlorine tab to attack its head. If the algae is at the bottom of the pool, try using a clip with the tab attached to a pole. Next, brush all walls and surfaces with the brush. When you do this, you'll notice a dirty looking "cloud" rising up. Turn off all pool pumps and filter for at least one full day. Add the recommended amount of algaecide to the deep end of your pool. The water chemistry of your pool will be extremely unbalanced. Bring the pH and pool chemistry back to proper levels and remember not to swim in your pool for A WEEK while fighting this dreadful algae.
Prevent the return of this bloomin' plague:
To prevent black algae from ever plaguing you in the first place, maintain proper pool chemistry. Also, maintain adequate pool filtration and circulation. If you still have issues with black algae or pool maintenance in general, contact a professional.
What Do I Need to Know About Maintaining My Pool?
Pool maintenance requires a little effort on your part, but much of it can be handled by a professional service. Whether you or the pros dive into the maintenance of your pool paradise, these are the general things that need to be maintained to maintain a splashing good time.
-Remove surface dirt with a skimmer every few days.
-Empty strainer baskets once a week.
-Use pool vacuum once a week to keep the floor of your pool as well as the water clean.
-Scrub the tiles weekly to prevent mildew, calcium and algae build up.
-Keep the pool filter clean but don't over clean it. Over cleaning can damage it.
-Keep the water level steady especially during times it gets a lot of use.
-If low water levels can't be explained by usual use, check for leaks and repair them as soon as possible.
-Regularly check the water's PH level.
-Shock the pool or super chlorinate the pool regularly. This keeps the water clean.
-Have a professional maintain and repair your pool heater.
If you don't plan on using your pool during the winter or any period of time for that matter, have the pool drained so that more extensive cleaning and repairs can take place. Please note, however, it is BEST to leave SOME water in the pool during any off seasons. If your pool is located in an area that reaches temperatures below freezing, you should remove as much water from the pipes, filter and heater as possible. Also, disconnect the chemical feeders, pump and heater.
Whether you follow all these tips yourself or see to it that a reliable professional service performs them for you, you're sure to have a beautiful pool that will serve your purposes for years to come.
More Tips You Might Want to Know:
BACKWASH! IT'S A GOOD THING!
STORMS AND YOUR SWIMMING POOL
WHEN TO CLEAN YOUR POOL - HOW DO I KNOW?
Backwash! It's a Good Thing!
Nope. You don't have to drink the water in your pool and leave your residual saliva behind to backwash. Backwashing is the process of cleaning your pool's filter thoroughly by reversing the flow of water. The process take a couple of minutes and needs to be done until the water runs clear through the waste line. Most people backwash when the pressure guage indicates a pressure rise of eight to 10 pounds above the clean/start up pressure. But, be careful not to OVER backwash! Otherwise your filter will never reach its full potential. A clean and maintained filter lowers your electrical bill, provides healthier pool water, prolongs your pool filter's life and prolongs the life of your filter pump motor.
EverClear Pool Service is great at backwashing! Just don't share your soda! The process is generally similar to this:
1) Turn off the power at the circuit breaker to the pump and turn off the pool pump before moving the multi port valve handle.
2) Depress the multiport valve handle from normal operation to the backwash setting. To prevent damage to the seal, always depress the valve all the way before you turn.
3) Lay the waste hose out to where you want to dump the water.
4) Turn the power back on and run the pump for two minutes. The water in the sight glass will turn from cloudy to clear.
5) Turn the power back off.
6) Depress the multiport valve handle again and this time turn it to RINSE. After backwashing, the sand will be loose and will need to be reset. Additionally, any dirty water from this process will need to be rinsed out of the filter to WASTE to prevent it from re entering the pool.
7) Turn the filter on and run filter at RINSE for a couple of minutes.
8) Turn the pump off, depress the multiport valve and turn it to the FILTER setting.
9) Turn the pool pump on for normal operation of the filter. Now, check the filter gauge to make sure it has dropped back down to where it's supposed to be.
It is a nice sunny day and your pool looks so inviting. Finally, you have time for a swim. You jump in, start to swim around, and are ready to lay back; soak in the rays while enjoying the water soothing your tired muscles. You start to look around at the pools edges and realize that your pool has a nasty looking residue around it.
That enjoying feeling quickly fades to dismay as you think about what is in the water that your skin is soaking up. You also realize that that inviting look you thought your pool had really wasn’t there. It is not clear, blue, and sparkling. In fact, now that you look closer there is an odd tint to the pool. You can see the pool floor but not clearly. You might even notice some algae growth.
It is time to test your pools water chemistry so you pull out your water chemistry testing kit and you find that the tests are saying everything is good. Maybe you did something wrong, so you test it again. The chemistry of the pool says it is good but the actual pool doesn’t look good. It is time to do some research on what could be going on in your pool. Why does the pool not clear sparkling blue water, the odd tint, and the algae?
After doing a search on the internet you realize that the total dissolved solid (TDS) level is too high. When was the last time the pools water was drained and refilled?” goes through your mind, Now, just as the weather and your time schedule in cooperating with being able to swim, you can’t, you have to change the pools water. Now you are wishing that you had done that maintenance plan with the pool cleaners. They would have found this out earlier, fixed the problem or never let it get to this state, and you could have been enjoying your pool right now!
Hiring a pool cleaning and Maintenance company will solve this problem and never have it happen again. They can inform you about High TDS levels and how it affects your swimming pool or they can just fix it and let you worry about more important things in life.
The scary thing is that high TDS levels don’t just affect the water. It can cause scale buildup in pipes, valves, and filters, reducing performance and adding to system maintenance costs.
High TDS levels often indicate hard water. In addition, it effects more than swimming pools, its effects can be seen in aquariums, spas, and reverse osmosis water treatment systems.
What is TDS?
A total dissolved solid (TDS) is a measure of the combined total of organic and inorganic substances contained in a liquid. These solids are primarily minerals, salts, and organic matter that can be a general indicator of water quality. After awhile pools, water will get stale and overworked causing a buildup of Total Dissolved Solids.
How to Fix TDS?
There is no chemical that can lower the TDS. TDS reading can only be lowered by draining your pool, either partially or completely, and adding fresh water.
Hiring a cleaning and maintenance pool specialist can be a big help.
Five tips to keep your pool in tip-top shape
If you have a pool or you’ve been considering installing one, it may not be as high maintenance as you think. While all pools are different as is their maintenance needs, keeping your pool service and in healthy condition just takes a few simple tips.
1. Just keeping up with consistent skimming of the top and pulling out the filter can work wonders in keeping your cool healthy and clean. If you drain your pool make sure that you do this at the end of the season and not to let the pool sent empty too long. It’s even considered okay to leave the pool filled with water throughout the wintertime to help with the pressure from the ground.
2. Check the water level to make sure it doesn’t drop too far. Insufficient water levels can be damaging to the filter so make sure you keep it up to a specific level and simply fill it up when it drops below that.
3. Keep the pool chemistry and pH level balanced by checking in about 2 to 3 times per week when used actively. It only needs to be checked about once a week during the winter or low use times. But make sure the pH balance is adequate for your area.
4. Be sure to wipe down the tile line weekly to reduce any buildup that may occur. Mold, mildew, and residue from the bottoms of people’s feet and general weather wear and tear can leave grime and mildew all along the tile line. Make sure this is cleaned off adequately with a quick wipe down each week.
5. Keep your chemicals and pool equipment out of direct sunlight. Have a specific cabinet or pool room designated for these materials that should be in a cool and dry place. Make sure you do not store acid and chloride next to each other.
While this is just five steps to keeping your pool clean you’ll also want to make sure to monitor any cracks or damage to your pool and keep those in tiptop shape. Keep plants and animals and certain chemicals away so they don’t drop into the water and keep your chemical balance exactly where it should be so that you don’t feed the algae.
Keep your pool's chemical readings in these ranges:
· PH: 7.2 to 7.8
· Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
· Calcium Hardness: 250-450 ppm
· Cyanuric Acid or Conditioner: 30-50 ppm
· Chorine residual: 1.0 to 1.5 ppm; upt to 2.0 in the summer with ozone, 3.0 without
· Combined chlorine: 0 ppm
Information provided by Phoenix.about.com
Can my Pool Chemicals Harm me?
Call me for more information on professional pool cleaning in Havasu City and surrounding areas.
If you have a swimming pool or hot tub or you’re considering purchasing one or a home that has one already installed you may be concerned if the chemicals used to clean the pool are harmful to swimmers or children. Chlorine is the most typical chemical used to clean pools and kill harmful bacteria. It’s also commonly used in drinking water but a byproduct such as HAA can occur when chlorine reacts with impurities in the water. The shallower the pool is, the more susceptible swimmers are to this exposure since the primary means of injecting this is through inhaling, not necessarily absorbed through the skin.
Most of us know the chlorine disinfects pool water in general but well-managed pools should have concentrations that are less than what is found in drinking water. Any risk in a properly maintained pool is said to be very small according to WebMD. It’s always best not to ingest pool water and keep your mouth closed while swimming but the main focus is to keep a well maintained pool or hot tub.
My Ever Clear Pool uses only the safest chemicals and natural resources for keeping your pool water is clean and the sanitary as possible. Not only do we test and adjust the chemical levels for the proper requirements, but we clean the pool tile, interior walls, pump baskets, and inspect all the equipment for any problems or necessary repairs. This keeps all bacteria at a minimum and allows for minimal chemicals into the water.
Give us a call if you’re interested in learning more about how we keep your pool, spa, or hot tub properly balanced and perfectly maintained.
Don Reinhard has been a Havasu City resident for several years and loves the sun and warmth of this area. He has brought both of these together being in the pool industry. Call him today for quotes on pool and spa maintenance and service.