Everyone who has owned a pool or thought about having a swimming pool for their home feels the frustration of the cleaning aspect.
Here is a short explanation of what is needed and what is available with today’s technology to help with cleaning your pool in your home.
First of all, there are two aspects to cleaning— 1) Debris removal from trees, airborne dirt, etc 2) Water cleansing with chemicals
There are four ways to remove debris:
- Manually vacuum with manual hoses
- Pool service cleaning weekly
- Automated built-in system
The first way involves taking the pool hoses, filling them with pool water, attaching them to your vacuum head, attaching the head to the long pole, and then attaching the other end of the hose to the skimmer attachment. You will need to get the suction of water from the skimmer to start pulling water through the hose from the vacuum head on the bottom of the pool. Once this occurs, you can start walking around the pool vacuuming the walls, floor, and steps. This is a daily process if you want the pool to remain clean and it is time consuming. It will take about an hour or more per day. Once you are done, you will disconnect the hose from the skimmer, empty all the water out of the hose back into the pool, and place all items back in the shed or garage.
The second method is to have someone else do this weekly or twice weekly. it is costly— on average about S75-S100 per visit. The downside to this is a wind blows 30 minutes after they left and your pool gets leaves and debris in it right after you just spent that money to clean it and it remains in there till the next visit. This is NOT an efficient way to clean the pool.
The third way to clean the pool is with a robot. This method is a great way to clean the pool, but is not without some work. You will need to obtain the robot from it’s storage in a shed or garage, plug it into either electric or into the pool outlet, place it in the pool and you will need to check on it over the next 2-3 hours, as they tend to get stuck in different spots, especially steps and tanning or play ledges. Once it is done, it will shut off and you will need to remove it, remove the bag or cartridge, empty it of debris, and then sometimes even hose it off, then place it back together and place entire unit and hoses/cords back into storage. This is every day or several times a week if you want the pool to be clean. The problem with this method is that homeowners get very weary of storing the robot and dragging it out, so they end up leaving it on the pool deck. The problem with that is it looks terrible and is a tripping hazard for everyone – especially the kids. Average cost of robots are $800- $1200. They tend to last about 7 years.
The fourth way to clean the pool is with an automated built-in system, such as the Paramount PCC 2000 in floor cleaning.
This is a system of nozzles built in flush with the floor and steps of the pool. These nozzles bring clean water back from the filter and move debris systematically down to the special debris collection main drain in the deeper part of the pool. This drain then transfers the debris via a very large over sized pipe to an over sized debris basket. This system is designed so that in most areas, you only need to empty this basket every 2-3 weeks.
This system is the only one of the four where the pool is actually cleaning itself. This requires the least amount of maintenance and lasts a lifetime. There are very few parts to this system so you have a virtually worry-free cleaning system.
Pool chemicals are a major hassle to pool owners. Every pool owner who has had to deal with manual pool chemicals knows how difficult and cumbersome it can be. The horrible part is you do everything you are supposed to, spend a huge amount of money on the right chemicals, and come home one day to a green pool or a pool that looks cloudy.
Due to technology, there are now MUCH easier and simpler ways to handle this.
Let’s discuss basics. There are 5 things you need to do with every pool:
1) Kill Bacteria— done usually with Chlorine 2) Kill Algae- done usually with Algaecide 3) Balance the PH or alkalinity of the water 4) Maintain clarity— Clarifiers and 5) Stabilize- with Stabilizers
You can either manually test the pool water twice a clay and adjust the chemicals or have a system do this. There are many systems out there and most of them still require you to manually add chemicals to the pool. There is one system available that takes care of all of the 5 items with very minor adjustments/additional items needed. That system it called ”Mineral Springs”.
Let’s discuss salt pools and come back then to ”Mineral Springs”.
Commercial pool owners 30+ years ago were looking for ways to save money on chlorine. A machine was invented that made chlorine from its source- salt. That machine was costly, but well worth the investment because the salt was extremely lower in cost and purer to make your own chlorine right at your pool. These machines saved a lot of cost to the owners and thus, salt water pools were invented. Approximately 20 years ago, the idea was catching on for residential pools, and the equipment manufacturers began making a smaller machine for residential pools. This now allowed homeowners to afford a saltwater pool and enjoy the benefits that the commercial owners had.
However, you need to be aware, like a lot of things in life, there were side effects. Using pure rock or pool salt to make your chlorine can be caustic to the pool plaster and or the pool equipment and to any metal railings. It was discovered that over time, the salt damages these items. It is more of a major problem for the heavy users (commercial) but it is still an issue.
Additionally, the salt into chlorine process only handles the first function- killing bacteria. You still have to maintain the other 4 functions with manual chemicals or other systems.
Along comes ”Mineral Springs”. This product is made from Mineral Salt and through the process and the additives, it is not caustic to the plaster or the pool equipment. The very large benefit to this product is that it has nearly everything you need in one 4 pound bag for the pool for one week. It is concentrated and inert. it has completely revolutionized the pool chemical business and made owning a pool a wonderful experience as opposed to a drudgery. Now, in less than 5 minutes a week, you can manage all the chemicals by letting the Mineral Springs system manage it for you. It automatically adjusts the needed chemicals to maintain nearly perfect water for you 24 hours a day.
The ultimate combination for low pool maintenance then becomes a PCC 2000 in floor cleaning system and the Mineral Springs Salt System. Between these two, you do not need to spend hours per week maintaining and cleaning your pool and you do not have to have someone babysit your pool while you are away. The cost to these two systems is minimal and will literally change your whole concept of pool maintenance. There are many reviews online of both of these systems. Google both of them and watch the online videos on our website. They are proven and do work very well.
Arcadia Pools of Maryland has both of these systems available for new pool construction and Mineral Springs can be added to any existing pool.
So depending on your needs and budget, there are solutions to make cleaning your pool much less work today.