Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable if you could easily pronounce all the ingredients of the maintenance chemicals going in your pool? Better yet, what if you knew they were all non-toxic, non-irritating, and environmentally friendly? Natural Chemistry provides you with these luxuries, along with Eagle Pool & Spa’s efficiency stamp of approval – this stuff really works!
Natural Chemistry products utilize enzymes’ ability to bind to and separate molecules, causing the break down of organic material in water. While this process is not exclusive to Natural Chemistry products, the use of a broad-spectrum enzyme is. Enzymes used by other companies only break down fats and oils – the most common residuals left in water from sunscreen, sweat and beauty products. The broad-spectrum enzyme is powerful enough to break down organic waste that naturally develops in water, preventing the major cause of filter overload before it even starts.
This process works independently of your usual sanitizer, allowing chemicals such as chlorine or bromine to work most efficiently. Using our our good friend, the F.R.O.G. system? No problem! Going the traditional route with regular old chlorine tabs? Natural Chemistry is compatible with any form of sanitation.
Now not everyone likes to take the proactive approach, and that’s okay! If you’d rather clean afterwards than prevent messes before they start, bless your lazy heart. But let me ask you this – have you ever had the issue of being unable to gain a chlorine level? And I don’t just mean in the dead heat of summer, with people in and out all day using up the chlorine. I’m talking about when a heavy dose of shock still reads absolutely nil on the test strip. This issue is likely the result of built up dirt and sludge in the plumbing of the (in-ground) pool. The chlorine is used up on this gunk before it even has a chance to benefit the water in your pool. Natural Chemistry’s Purge chemical will clean all the areas that you can’t, leaving your pump and filter system in a much healthier and efficient state.
A wide array of Natural Chemistry products can be found at our Eagleville and Pottstown locations, and our knowledgeable retail staff is ready to inform you of the purpose and application of each and every one. The season is upon us, see you soon with that start-up water test!
Doesn’t it always seem that when the next new device or gadget comes along, everyone just NEEDS to have it? Conversely, how many of us know that person that sticks with what they have, regardless of how much that very same item has developed? When it comes to water sanitation, the FROG system has improved on the old standard while avoiding changes that compromise the health of your pool. Before getting into the details about the benefits of the pool FROG, let’s quickly go over certain aspects of some other common methods.
Tree roots, family pets, major storms – what do all of these things have in common? They all have a strong ability to do some damage to your pool liner. While a liner replacement may seem like a daunting task, there are just a few pieces on information to be aware of before taking this step toward pool-improvement.
Today’s Edition: Filter Systems
A common mistake to make when talking about pools is not knowing the difference between the pump and the filter. The pump’s job is to circulate the water when the pool is not in use, and to create a constant flow of water pushing through the filter. It is the smaller, louder, motor-looking part that usually sits low to the ground, and has a strainer with a clear lid on it. The filter’s job is to sift your water through the filter media and remove obvious dirt and debris before being sent back into the pool through the return. It is the larger, round tank that is connected to the pump. The two parts together are known as the filter system.
A misconception about the filter system is that it will do all of the work necessary to keep your pool clean – this is not true! It is a reciprocal relationship; if you take care of your filter system, only then will it continue to work efficiently.
“But Eagle Pool and Spa – Home Relaxation Specialists, how ever do I maintain such a complex and burdensome system??”
Never fear! Like most forms of general upkeep, there are just a few main things to be aware of to uphold your end of the bargain with your filter system – filter media, filter pressure, and water chemistry. Let’s begin with the most common types of filter media.
The type of media used to clean the water is what defines a filter. There is not a whole lot to be said about cartridge filters. They are large, cylinder shaped filters made mostly of thick, pleated paper that will catch the dirt passing through it. While they are the simplest design of filter, they also provide the least effective filtration. Cartridge filters should mostly be reserved for smaller bodies of water – above ground pools with a largest dimension of 18 feet or less. Diatomaceous Earth or, more commonly, D.E. ($19.95/25lbs.) filters have an assembly of hard fins wrapped in cloth inside the filter tank. These fins require a few pounds of D.E. be applied to them through the skimmer to provide high-grade filtration. Sand filters are very much what they sound like, a tank full of fine grain sand that will hold on to dirt as water passes through it. While the filters themselves are easiest to operate, sand does not filter as finely as D.E. does. Finally, the crème de la crème, micromatic media. Micromatic media is a much thicker, porous version of standard pool sand that filters as finely as D.E., but is compatible with the simple functionality of the sand filter.
Filter pressure is directly related to filter media in that the pressure rises when the media is full of the captured debris. Filter pressure of about 20 psi or over weakens the output of the return – the pressurized stream that circulates your water. Circulation is the first step in filtration, making high filter pressure an issue of importance.
“Well then, pool care professionals, how is it that I get my filter pressure down to allow for optimum performance??”
The different methods of lowering filter pressure depend on the type of filter you have. For cartridge filters, take the cartridge out and soak it in a solution of ONE part muriatic (hydrochloric) acid to FIVE parts water for 12 hours. If you have access to a pressure washer, those can also be effective simply with some warm water.
D.E. filters, depending on how old they are, will either have a bump handle or backwash option which removes used, clogged, unwanted D.E. from the filter grids. The pressure should go down after executing those options, but it is of utmost importance to replace the D.E. you removed with new D.E. in the amount suggested on your filter tank. Should the pressure NOT go down, you will need to remove your grid assembly and soak them in the same acid solution previously recommended for cartridge filters. It’s a good idea to do this about once a year anyway.
Sand filters will have a multi-port valve on top of the filter tank with options labeled backwash and rinse. In this case, backwashing for one to two minutes will sift the cleaner media on the bottom of the tank upward, and rinsing for about a minute or less will re-compact the media to its proper filtering position. With traditional pool sand ($9.95/50lbs.), you will be able to do this for one to two years before reaching a saturation point, micromatic media ($32.95/50lbs.) will last at least five years before needing replacement.
If care and maintenance are the only things keeping you from enjoying a snowy mini-vacation in your hot tub, allow us to provide you with the play by play. You can just worry about the refreshments.
If your tub is already filled, but you’re unsure about what might be lurking in the water, the longest you can expect a total adjustment to take is a couple days. Let’s start with the basics – water chemistry, oxidization, and sanitation.
The general term water chemistry, in this case, refers to the levels of pH and alkalinity of your hot tub water. pH is a widely known measurement which tells us how acidic (low pH) or basic (high pH) water is. If your tub is freshly filled, water comes out of your tap at a fairly decent standard – around 7.3. The recommended pH range for pool and spa water is between 7.2 and 7.6, because within this range sanitation chemicals work to their full potential, and water feels best on your skin. Acidic water will leave you feeling itchy and prickly, while basic water will feel thick and residual after your hot tub session. Almost any test strip or kit will have a way to test alkalinity, pH’s lesser known relative. Alkalinity should be kept at a level of at least 80 parts per million (PPM), to stabilize the pH within its recommended range. A low alkalinity leaves the pH vulnerable to the environment, allowing for too much fluctuation and, in turn, poor water chemistry.