10 Pool Hacks from a Pro: Make your pool easier to maintain and save money doing it!
Updated: Sep 24, 2019
As Pool Professionals, we are often asked to perform the impossible. We are your last hope at turning that swamp into an inviting Oasis. While we possess no magic wand to instantly clear your pool, many seasoned vets have a few tricks that can help ease the "sting". These 10 items are just a few things that can help you maintain a safe, fun, and more energy efficient swimming environment. As always, ask your pool professional what items are right for your pool as markets vary from area to area for good reason.
Automation has been the biggest step in innovation for swimming pools over the past few years. Automation systems give the user full control over run times, run speeds, schedules, flow rates, salt cell output, lights, and more. While the Jandy Aqualink RS system is second to none, a simple pump timer can be an affordable alternative. Simply changing your pump run times to "Non Peak" times can have a drastic effect on your energy usage. Talk to your pool professional about turnover rates for your pool when setting up run times for peak performance.
Upgrading to an LED Light Fixture from an old incandescent bulb can seem like a costly investment. However, the life of an LED light much exceeds that of its counter part. Couple that with the reduced energy usage and added light and you are sure to see the savings add up. LEDs are also often dimmable if found to be too bright. As always, ask your pool professional what LED light works best in your pool.
While originally introduced as Commercial cleaners, Robotic Cleaners are becoming more and more common in the residential setting. With a very low cost to operate in addition to the added filtration of some models, Robotic Cleaners have begun to dominate the Automatic Pool Cleaner market. When shopping for Robotic Cleaners it is important to get one suited for your pool. Be it an Aboveground, Inground, Vinyl, or fiberglass there is a cleaner right for you. Higher end models will include Wi-fi controls and "Lift" features for ease of removal. As always, talk with your pool professional before purchasing to find the right fit for your pool.
4.Variable Speed/Flow Pumps
Variable speed/flow pumps give the user the ability to dial in their flow rates and turn over rates to optimize energy efficiency. Not all Vs/Vf pumps are the same, so check with your pool professional to help optimize your savings. Sizing and set up are crucial to the energy efficiency of your Vs/Vf pump. Check out this article on properly sizing your VS/VF pump.
Covers can significantly reduce cost by retaining heat and keeping debris out. While an Automatic Pool Cover is the "Cadillac" of pool covers, a solar cover or liquid solar cover can have the same effect at a fraction of the cost. Liquid Solar covers DO WORK! I get asked all the time about solar covers. My consensus is the bubble covers are a PAIN and the liquid covers DO WORK!
6.Orenda Enzymes & Phosphate Remover
A newer product proving Highly popular with pool professionals is the Orenda Enzyme & Phosphate remover. Enzymes break down and remove non-living organics and oils(bather waste) from the water. Helps to reduce chlorine consumption by removing non-living organics. I often couple this product with Scum Balls in a skimmer to help clean up ring left by suntan lotions and oils.
Yes borax, like Grandma used to make laundry soap. Or maybe you have a box still from that silly putty fiasco you had with the kids.....Borates , or as known by my clients "Pool Pixie Dust", is probably the closest thing in my truck to a Magic Wand or Eraser or whatever...20 Mules will raise Ph so as always consult a Pool Professional for dosing.
Below are a few benefits of adding a Borate residual to your pool.
Algaestat not Algaecide- Drives Carbon Dioxide out so Algae wont grow
Makes water Feel Softer- Works as a natural moisturizer for the hair and skin
Enhancer- Borates give the water an extra "Ocean Like" Skimmer
Bragging Rights- Be the pool ALL your friends talk about all summer for the RIGHT reasons
8.Salt Water Generator SWG
Salt Water Chlorine Generators can be a great money and time saving investment.However, SWG's are not for every pool. They can cause damage to Automatic pool covers if not done correctly, damage to concrete in hi usage areas, and are generally more corrosive. Extra care should be taken when installing a SWG. Pools equipped with a SWG should also have a sacrificial anode plumbed in to help protect your equipment and bond the water. Talk to your Pool Professional before installing a SWG on your pool.
Ozone Generators, UV lights, And AOP are becoming more and more popular in the residential setting. Ozone and UV Light are effective at destroying chlorine resistant microbes. Using UV, Ozone, Or both in an AOP system, one can significantly reduce the chlorine needed to effectively sanitize. Whether using UV light or Ozone it is crucial to periodically maintain your system. UV lens will need cleaned of scale and bulbs replaced periodically. Ozone generators should be tested for output yearly to ensure they are working properly.
Copper & Silver ions slowly release minerals into to water to inhibit algae growth and kill bacteria. Many Ionization units do not require electricity making them an easy addition to any pool. Ask your Pool Profession if Ionization is right for you.