**Don’s note: Today, we turn the blog over to one of our fantastic partners, Chad Nikkel, at Aquaman Pools. Enjoy his easy guide to keeping your pool and spa clean and happy!
We’re pool guys. Pools are what we do. Every day. There are some parts of the job we love, and other parts…not so much. One of the least fun parts of our job is delivering bad news. No one likes to hear that something is wrong with their pool, especially if it’s expensive.
That’s why we’ve written this short guide to help pool owners avoid the most common mistakes that can destroy their pool, spa, and equipment over time and lead to big nasty bills.
Without further ado, if you want to save money and have a nice clean pool here are the top 3 things NOT to do:
- Don’t Have Your Equipment Checked.
A modern pool is a complicated piece of engineering. There’s a lot of science that goes into keeping your pool safe and sparkling clean. Some of the most expensive parts of the pool are the parts you never see: pumps, heaters, etc. If you like surprises, especially nasty ones, a good plan is to never have a qualified technician do an occasional check on them.
For example: Pictured below is the nest of a desert rat family we recently found. Arizona’s rodents love pool heaters and spa interiors during the cool winter. Unfortunately, it’s a fire hazard waiting to happen (not to mention kinda gross).
A good pool service should be checking your equipment regularly for exciting problems like the one pictured above.
Hint: If you’re worried that having your pool guy check the equipment is just an excuse to bill you– you’re probably using the wrong company.
- Don’t Swap Your Water.
There are a lot of great things about Arizona. Living in the Valley of the Sun means more days of sunshine than almost anywhere in the country. There are some downsides, though: 120 degree summers, scorpions, monsoon season, and of course our water. What’s wrong with it? Arizona’s water is full of minerals. That’s why it’s called hard water and why so many of us pay big bucks for softening.
For pool owners that hard water creates a giant headache. As it evaporates, minerals leach into the water and onto your pool surfaces. Over time it gets harder and harder to properly balance. Eventually, you’re left with a nice white film on all your surfaces that has to be acid-washed off.
You can help minimize this to a large degree with proper balancing. Despite popular opinion, proper water balancing is not as easy as dipping some strips in a solution. Maintaining an optimum balance of chemicals is tricky and requires specialized training. Having someone who’s qualified maintain your pool saves you big bucks in the end. Better weekly care will keep your water nice for a longer time and require less intensive cleanings over the lifetime of your pool.
Unfortunately, even the best techs can’t fight nature forever. In Arizona we recommend that you drain your pool at least every 2 to 3 years. Leave the water longer than that, and you’ll just be creating a nasty clean-up bill later and be swimming in water that feels gritty and filmy.
- Don’t Replace that Dying Part.
Sometimes when a pool part stops working it dies immediately in a blaze of glory, never to work again. Most of the time though we’ve found the opposite is true: when equipment starts to go, it dies a slow, painful death. That puts pool owners in a conundrum: do you try to patch it up and keep it going, or bite the bullet and replace it? There’s not always an easy answer, mostly because we still haven’t found a reliable crystal ball that lets us peer into the future (we’ll update you if we ever find one).
That being said, an experienced pool repair tech (an honest one at least) will be able to give you good advice. If they tell you to replace something, it’s probably a good idea. Why? When some parts die they can take other parts with them, ballooning the repair bill. Even worse? When some parts fail, they can pose a fire hazard or make the water unsafe.
We hope this short guide has been helpful! By following, or rather not following, these tips, we hope your pool will bring more smiles…and fewer pool guys bearing bad news.
If you have any questions about the above recommendations, please don’t hesitate to reach out!