As much as Southern California has a reputation for year-round sunshine, the temperatures can still drop dramatically during the winter. Do you have to winterize your pool when you live in the Los Angeles area?
Most West Coast pool builders will tell you to keep an eye on the temperatures, as that will determine whether you need to take any action. Even if you do winterize your pool, the process will be a lot simpler than it is for homeowners who live in colder areas.
Here are some winterization tips and answers to top pool professionals FAQs.
Is winterization necessary?
Generally, Southern California has a temperate climate. It’s rare to see snow, unless you head up into the mountains or the Grapevine. If the forecast shows a run of freezing weather, then you will definitely want to take precautions to protect your pool. Otherwise, you can simply keep up with your normal pool maintenance schedule.
When the temperature drops below 32°F, your main concern should be running the pump 24 hours a day until the weather warms up again. The water in your in-ground pool will be slightly warmer than the air, so circulating the warmer water constantly can keep the pipes and equipment from freezing. Since water expands when it freezes, it can crack pipes and cause major damage.
You might want to keep your pool heater on low during the freezing weather, just to keep things moving. If your pool equipment has automatic freeze sensors, consider turning those on to protect your pool.
Steps to winterize your pool
West Coast pool builders recommend the following steps:
Clean your pool: First, clean your pool thoroughly to remove dirt and debris. It can affect your pool’s chemistry if left unresolved for long.
Balance the chemistry: To reduce the possibility of etching or scaling, balance your pool water’s chemistry.
Superchlorinate: Superchlorinate your pool to prevent algae formation and staining when it’s not in use. Follow the directions on the package for best results.
Shut down the equipment: Shut down all your pool equipment, clean the filter and empty the pump and skimmer baskets. Turn off the breakers to the pool.
Drain 2 inches of water: Next drain 2 to 2.5 inches of water from the pool, so the water line is well below the skimmer basket and tiles. (Tiles may crack if the water freezes.)
Use a winter pool cover: Finally, invest in a good winter pool cover. This will provide some thermal insulation and keep debris out during the winter.
Following these tips will help prevent freezing in temperate climates. It will also ensure that your pool is practically ready to use as soon as spring weather rolls around. Investing the time in winterizing your pool now will save you a lot of effort later on when you’re ready to dive in once more.
Avanti Pools, Inc. is a West Coast pool builder, creating custom-designed pools and spas. When you’re ready to install or remodel your pool, give us a call right away.
Proper pool maintenance is important, but when you’re new to DIY pool care, you might make a few missteps. One of the most common issues pool owners experience is when their pool turns green. Sometimes even chlorine won’t fix the problem. It’s not safe to swim in a pool filled with algae, as it can cause skin irritation and bacterial infections.
Algae growth can occur when your pool water chemistry is out of balance or if there are issues with the filtration system. When you notice green pool water, address it immediately—or at least before anyone swims in the pool again.
Here are some pool care tips to help you solve the issue:
Prepare the pool: Algae can form when the pool water chemistry is off and there are too many metal elements in the water. Remove everything from the pool, and skim the surface with a skimmer to get rid of leaves and debris. Let any dirt settle to the bottom.
Test the water: Next test your pool water. This will tell you what (if anything) to add to the water. For example, if your pool water is cloudy, the pH is on the alkaline side. You’ll need to add hydrochloric acid to the water to neutralize it. You want the pH levels to be around 7, even in a saltwater pool.
Shock the pool: Next shock the pool by adding liquid chlorine, according to package directions. Distribute the chlorine around the pool as evenly as possible; then turn on the filter. Let it circulate several hours before you start cleaning the pool. You may want to use an algaecide for best results. Then you can brush the pool to get rid of the algae and other debris.
Pump and filter the water: If your pool water is still green after following the steps above, there may be a problem with the filter. Check the filter to make sure there are no clogs; then let it run for several days until the water turns clear once more. If you want to filter the water in a hurry, backwash the filter four times.
Make sure you have the right filter: Finally, if all else fails, check your filter to see if it needs to be replaced. If you have a sand filter, check and backwash the filter each day until the water is clean. For cartridge filters, see if the cartridge needs to be replaced; then run the filter twice per day until the pool is completely clean.
Sometimes pool chemistry can present a challenge. If you’re having trouble balancing its chemistry, call a pool maintenance contractor for help. DIY pool care can save money, but sometimes it’s best to call in the experts. Proper pool maintenance is the key to preserving and enjoying your pool for years to come.
A beautiful swimming pool is a great feature for any home, but there are clearly some routine maintenance considerations to keep in mind if you want to keep the water clear and all related equipment running efficiently. If you maintain your pool yourself, you need to take on the role of janitor and chemist simultaneously. While removing debris like twigs and bugs is easy, balancing pool water chemicals can be a difficult job. Here’s what you need to know about maintaining consistent pool pH levels so you can safely enjoy your investment.
What happens when pool pH levels get too high?
A pool’s pH is a measure of the water’s balance between acidity and alkalinity, and maintaining a consistent balance is crucial for safe swimming. Water pH ranges from 1 to 14, and lower numbers indicate higher water acidity, while high numbers indicate increased alkalinity. The right pH for all pools lies right in the middle, between about 7.3 and 7.6 pH. At these levels, your equipment will run optimally, and you’ll enjoy the cleanest possible water in your pool.
When pH levels get too high, and the water becomes alkaline, the effectiveness of chlorine is significantly reduced, making it harder to kill harmful pathogens in the pool. Alkaline water can also cause skin rashes, cloudy water and a buildup of scale on pool equipment. Left for too long, the scaling can render your equipment completely ineffective and put a strain on the most important element of a pool: the water circulation system.
Remember that the higher the alkalinity in your pool water, the harder it is to bring it all back in balance. The moment your pool water tests for a high pH is the moment you need to take action—it can save you significant time, money and hassle in the long run.
How can you bring an alkaline pool back in balance?
If your pool water has tested for a high pH, you need to add a chemical additive called pH reducer, or pH minus, to the pool water. These chemicals contain either muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate, both of which work to reduce pH levels. They’re readily available at pool supply stores, home improvement stores and online. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the correct amount of reducer to use for the volume of your pool and its current pH level.
If you choose a reducer that contains muriatic acid, be sure to handle with great care. This powerful chemical comes in a liquid form, so you need to follow the manufacturer’s directions for safe handling, applying and storing of the chemical.
Sodium bisulfate-based chemicals, on the other hand, come in dry form and are easier and safer to handle than muriatic acid. It should also be handled carefully, though, and you should wear protective eye and skin coverings and a mask to avoid inhalation of the granules.
It takes skill, patience and a watchful eye to keep pool pH levels balanced. Learn more about proper swimming pool care and maintenance by contacting Avanti Pools, Inc. today. We build self-cleaning pools that eliminate your worries about balancing chemicals, allowing you to get hassle-free enjoyment from your investment.
Homeowners with a cracked or failing pool often try quick fixes to resolve the problem. One of the more common routes for repairs is simply painting over the cracks. When customers ask us, “Is painting my pool a good idea in Los Angeles, CA?” we always tell them, “No!” This post will cover the reasons you should never paint your pool.
Problems caused by painting
We wouldn’t advise against painting pools for no reason. Here are a few of the issues caused by pool paint:
Ineffective fix: Painting the pool to “fix” cracks or other defects is like putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg—it’s not very helpful! On top of being an ineffective repair option, painting the pool drives down its overall appearance and makes it look shoddy.
Cloudy water: The paint used to make cosmetic repairs will eventually rub off the walls, especially if you have children playing in the pool and agitating the water. As you can imagine, the excess paint makes the water a nasty, cloudy color that will require additional cleaning to remove.
Clogs: If it’s not removed swiftly, that floating paint could cause clogs in your pool’s filtration system. This is a vicious cycle, as a clogged filter isn’t able to properly clean the water, leading to even dirtier pool water. On top of that, cleaning out a clogged filter isn’t exactly how you’d want to spend your afternoon.
Ruined swimsuits: Swimming in cloudy water for long periods can actually damage your swimwear. You may notice small spots on your bathing suit that won’t come out after a run through the washing machine.
Hire our team to construct your pool!
Avoid the need to ask, “Is painting my pool a good idea in Los Angeles, CA?” by hiring Avanti Pools, Inc. to install your new pool. These are the top reasons to choose us for installation:
Qualified experts: You won’t find a more experienced or capable crew for your pool construction project than our team! Every contractor who works with us is fully certified through the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals to ensure high-quality results. Regardless of the pool’s size or location, you can trust us to execute the job.
Three-year warranty: We’re so confident that you’ll love your pool that we offer a three-year warranty for everything from the masonry and tile to the plumbing and electrical components. You won’t find a deal like that anywhere else in the area.
Full-service company: There’s no need to hire multiple crews when you call our team—we handle everything from the initial design all the way through construction. We work closely with each of our customers to ensure they’re getting the pool of their dreams at an affordable price.
The answer to the question, “Is painting my pool a good idea in Los Angeles, CA?” is “no.” The answer to the question, “Who should install my new pool?” is Avanti Pools, Inc. Give us a call today to get a consultation for your new pool or to learn more about our services!
Choosing the right swimming system for your home means taking stock of what type of swimming you desire and finding which option will best need your needs. On top of general swimming needs, however, there are many other features that different brands offer that could sway your decision. It can be useful to do a direct comparison between several models so you can make the most educated decision possible.
If you’re looking for current systems, swim-in-place systems or swim jets in Los Angeles, CA, check out this handy guide below to the main features for three competing systems: Speck’s Badu SwimJet system, Endless Pools’ Fastlane system and Riverflow’s current systems:
Badu SwimJet system: The equipment for this swim system is set up outside of the pool, but nearby. The jets create a high-turbulence environment that is not conducive to great swimming. They can also be loud while operating and require a restart to adjust the speed. One benefit of the SwimJet system, however, is that it’s compatible with salt water, if you prefer that option. The company also offers a one-year warranty on its equipment.
Fastlane system: The Fastlane equipment is placed inside the pool, which could be convenient if you’re short on backyard space. It rates well for swimmability, though it’s loud when operating. And though you can adjust current speeds, they are preset for the user, which cuts down on options. This company offers a two-year warranty on its products, but this would be voided if the owner used salt water, as the system is not compatible with it.
Riverflow current system: This system offers a great deal of benefits that other systems might not have. First, the actual equipment is set up away from the pool area, which means you don’t need to worry about having any unsightly mechanical pieces out in the open. Second, it offers an environment that is quiet and very swimmable, making for a relaxing approach to fitness. You have fully adjustable speeds as well, allowing for more flexibility than other current systems in Los Angeles, CA. Finally, you can use salt water with this product, which is covered by a five-year warranty.
There are lots of options for current systems, swim jets and swim-in-place systems in Los Angeles, CA and surrounding areas. With all the different choices, it can be extremely useful to speak to a knowledgeable representative about what would be best for your space and your needs. If you’re in the market for this type of investment, look no further than Avanti Pools, Inc., a locally owned and operated retailer of pools and spas. We have spent the last 20 years providing the local community with exceptional products and customer service.
Since 1999, Avanti Pools, Inc. has built pools and spas in a variety of locations, even in places that seem impossible to work around. We have a certification from the A.P.S.P. and 60 years of combined experience in the industry, and we’re dedicated to helping you build the perfect place to swim or relax. Call today for more information!