|HOW DO I COLLECT A WATER
SAMPLE? Your water sample needs to be in a clean container that
holds at least 1 cup. Collect the sample from as far down as you can reach
and away from the jets or skimmers. If you have added shock treatment to
the pool, wait at least 24 hours before collecting a sample. Try to bring
the sample as soon as possible, keeping it room temperature. Do not leave
the sample in your car for a long period of time, and do not put it in
the refrigerator. We can have your water tested in under 5 minutes (unless
there is a wait!).
|HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO
CHANGE THE SAND IN MY FILTER? There is no standard length
of time for a sand change. It could be different for everyone, depending
on how much work your filter has to do to keep your pool clean. Sand does
lose its coarseness over time, becoming smooth and round, losing its ability
to trap small debris. Some signs that your sand needs changing would be:
having to backwash often to keep a good flow even when the pool is clear;
or not being able to clear the pool or keep it clear even after getting
everything else (water balance, chlorine levels) right. Using a filter
cleaning liquid at least once a season will help prolong the life of your
sand, helping to degrease and break down organics that may be clogging
it. As a general rule, even if you're not having any of the above problems,
we would suggest changing the sand at least every 10 years.
|HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO
BACKWASH THE FILTER? As a general rule, backwashing once a week
is usually sufficient. Although, depending on usage and the water conditions,
it may need backwashing more or less often than that. After you backwash,
notice what the PSI reading is on your filter's pressure gauge. Wait until
the PSI reads 5 - 10 higher than that number before you backwash again.
If your gauge do not work, just notice the flow coming out of the jets,
and backwash when that flow diminishes.
|SHOULD I CHANGE MY POOL
TO SALT WATER? Over the last few years, salt generator systems
have become a very popular means of sanitizing pools in our area. But they
are not new to the pool industry. Areas such as Florida and California
have been using salt generators for decades. Many people ask us our opinion
about whether they should change their pool to salt. That opinion is different
for every situation. We will give you the pros and cons about salt water
and dispel some of the misinformation that is out there among homeowners
and pool builders alike.
A salt water generator sounds like the
best way to go when talking to your neighbors who have one or even to some
pool builders who are trying to push a sale. Most people think it’s an
effective alternative to chlorine. What they do not realize though is a
salt water generator actually turns salt into chlorine. So if you
are trying to move away from using chlorine, changing to salt is not the
answer. If you don’t mind your pool still being chlorinated, the only advantage
to salt-generated chlorine is not having to handle chlorine tablets and
shock on a regular basis. Notice it says “on a regular basis.” At times,
such as Spring start-up, through the winter months, or when you have algae
(yes, salt pools still have algae), you will still need to shock the pool
with regular chlorine shock.
Salt water generators may also seem cheaper
in the long run because they think that they will only need to purchase
salt for their new system. But there is a hidden truth to this. Salt is
corrosive. The people who own a pool with certain types of rock do not
learn this until the damage is done. Salt eventually erodes metal parts
around a pool. Diving boards, metal fixtures, ladders, handrails, metal
parts in your pump and filter….all will show signs of eroding over time
requiring the pool owner to replace these parts of their pools. These parts
can be costly to replace. Anyone living near an ocean can attest to the
damage salt causes over time. Backwash from salt water generators or splash-outs
can also cause harm to decorative rock formations, not to mention killing
any nearby vegetation. In fact, splash-outs of chemically treated pool
water from salt water generators have been known to damage the soil enough
so that a living organism won't be able to grow in that spot again.
Another myth is that salt is the only thing
the water will need. After testing and balancing salt pools for several
years now, we can tell you that this is not true. Salt pools require balancing
more often than any other system. Why is this? First, salt has a very high
pH. Pool owners constantly have to add pH decreaser or muriatic acid to
keep the pH in the proper range. Secondly, since stabilized chlorine tablets
are not being used, granular stabilizer must be added frequently to keep
the salt generator from over-working itself and burning out prematurely.
And thirdly, the minerals in salt often stain pool surfaces, resulting
in a costly stain-removal process that is not guaranteed to work or prevent
Pool owners must also take into consideration
the initial investment of the salt water generator, which can run from
$1,000 - $2,000 for the equipment and installation, not to mention purchasing
a replacement cell for about half that price every 3-7 years. For what
you spend on the initial cost of the system, you could run your pool on
regular chlorine for about 2-4 years, depending on the size. And by the
time you’ve recouped that money, you’re going to be purchasing a replacement
There are some advantages to owning a salt-water
pool. Swimming in a mild saline solution is much like taking a shower in
soft water. Generally, when people swim in a traditionally chlorinated
pool, they feel like their skin dries quicker upon exiting the pool. They
may feel and/or see a whitish residual, chlorine flaking, on the skin.
This is usually due to improper water balance. In a salt-water pool the
water feels smooth, your skin feels smooth, and many people feel more refreshed.
A chlorine generator's main function is
to produce chlorine for the pool so you do not have to buy it, store it
or handle it. Chlorine generators, when functioning correctly, produce
chlorine constantly (when the pump is running) with most units. This keeps
a residual of chlorine in the pool that prevents some types, but not all,
algae from growing.
|WHAT IS E-Z POOL? E-Z
Pool is a chemical compound we have been selling since the mid-90s. E-Z
POOL is a multi-function granular compound that simplifies swimming pool
water care. It combines an algae shield, stable oxidizer, clarifier,
scale inhibitor, and balancing agents – all in ONE product! The convenient,
once-a-week application takes only minutes to keep your swimming pool water
clean, clear and trouble-free. E-Z POOL is compatible with salt, chlorine,
and bromine systems. Immediately after adding to the pool, the fast-dissolving
formula starts to work by oxidizing contaminants, preventing algae, conditioning
and clarifying, inhibiting scale and maintaining overall water balance.
E-Z POOL effectively manages pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness
with just a once-a-week application. Because E-Z POOL keeps the water clean,
clear and balanced, your sanitizer is more efficient and you use fewer
chemicals! Traditional water maintenance programs require a multitude of
chemicals and frequent testing in an attempt to achieve balance and clarity.
These programs are based on reactive science: wait until you have a problem,
attempt to diagnose with complicated testing, and then treat by adding
a multitude of chemicals that might fix the problem. E-Z POOL works on
science: you actually prevent water problems (algae, organic contaminants,
pH imbalance, scale) rather than adding more chemicals to treat them after
they occur. With E-Z Pool, you get all the benefits of a salt-water pool
(lower maintenance, softer water) without adding expensive equipment that
you will have to repair and replace through the years.
Here are two testimonies from long-time
E-Z Pool users:
"I love Marie's! I like that when I go in
there they treat you like a friend and are always so helpful! I like using
E-Z Pool and love not having to buy all of the products to clear up a green
pool because we never have that problem!! Thanks Marie's....you guys are
awesome!!!" P. Willis, Oxford
"I've been with Marie's Pool Store since
1994. This company has always been there for me concerning my pool needs.
I am just grateful for their wonderful customer service, call backs and
anything in between. I think one of the most amazing things was when they
introduced me to E-Z Pool. I was so amazed, I told anyone that had a pool
about this amazing product. One of their other customers came in and said
in a joking way, 'she talks about Jesus and EZ Pool.' Grateful that this
area has a wonderful company to help with our pool needs." P. Martin, Oxford
|WHEN SHOULD I SHOCK MY
As a general rule, the pool should be shocked every 7-10
days. The best time to shock is at night or when the sun is no longer shining
on the pool. This allows the chlorine more time to work before the sun
starts drawing it out of the pool. As a rule, you should shock the pool
after heavy use or rain. But it is always good to test the water first
to avoid over-chlorinating the water. Upon testing, if the free chlorine
reading is low, it is time to shock. Also check to make sure your chlorine
tablets have not run out. If you have a test kit that tests for free chlorine
and total chlorine, you should shock any time the total chlorine reading
is higher than the free chlorine.
|WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE
IN SHOCK AND TABLETS? Traditional shock and tablet products
are different types of chlorine. Tablets are a stabilized form of chlorine,
made to break down slowly to give the water a steady dose of sanitizer.
There are different types of shock, some stabilized, some not, but it is
always in a granular form. We use calcium hypochlorite shock because it
has the highest level of available chlorine. Shock is used to raise the
chlorine level quickly to "burn out" any impurities in the water.
|WHY SHOULD I NOT BUY
CHLORINE PRODUCTS FROM THE MASS MERCHANTS?Aside from the fact
that you don't get any expert help while shopping at those establishments,
their products are different and inferior to the ones we carry. The chlorine
content of their shock is lower and therefore less effective; however,
the price on their shock is higher than ours. Their tablets are less expensive,
but that is because the process of making those tablets is inferior. Their
tablets are bound with a fatty substance that causes a black oily residue
in the pool equipment, prematurely clogging up the filter. The tablets
are also not bound as tightly as the tablets we carry, which causes them
to not last as long in your skimmer or chlorinator.
|WHY IS MY WATER CLOUDY?There
are several possible causes of cloudy, smoky, or hazy swimming pool water.
Here are some of them, along with the solutions:
• Poor circulation or filtration:
Backwash and clean the pool filter. Clean the skimmer baskets and
pump strainer basket. The filter may need to be chemically cleaned.
• Improper water balance: Test
the pH, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness, and make the necessary
• Excess organic waste:
one pound of pool super shock for every 10,000 gallons of pool water.
• High pH or total alkalinity:
Add a pH reducer.
• Low sanitizer level: Add chlorine
to bring sanitizer into its proper range.
|SHOULD I DRAIN MY POOL?It
depends on the type of pool you have. If the pool is gunite (concrete),
then yes, you can drain it. Just don't leave it drained for more than a
few days. If the pool is fiberglass, you will need to take into consideration
the ground water surrounding the pool. Fiberglass pools have been known
to pop out of the ground when drained if there is water surrounding the
You should never completely drain a vinyl
pool on your own. If complete draining is required, hire a professional,
but you must also take into account the age of the liner. Even if professionally
drained, an older liner, or one that has not been properly cared for, can
still tear. If your liner is in good condition and is fairly new, you can
usually safely drain 24"-36" of water. But we suggest avoiding draining
the pool at all costs. A few extra cleanings or chemicals is much cheaper
than replacing your liner.
|WHY DO MY KIDS HAVE ITCHY
/ BROKEN OUT SKIN AFTER SWIMMING? Check your pH and chlorine
levels. A low pH and / or a high chlorine reading can cause skin irritation,
especially in children or anyone with sensitive skin.
|WHY DO MY EYES BURN WHEN
I SWIM? The pH of your eyes is around 7.0. Anytime the pH of
the pool water differs drastically from your own pH, irritation can occur.
Check your pH and chlorine levels. High chlorine levels can also cause
|I LET MY POOL "GO" DURING
THE WINTER.....WHAT NOW? First, remove as much debris as possible
by dipping, leaf eating, or vacuuming to waste. This may have to be done
"blindly" if you cannot see the bottom of the pool. Next, use a large dose
of shock and algaecide (we can help you decide which one and how much).
After the algae is dead, vacuum all remaining debris and algae to waste.
Once the water is no longer green, just cloudy, bring a sample of water
in to be tested.
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